The Travel Chapter

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Travel Chapter's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The Travel Chapter is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Marketing Director James
Travel Chapter’s flagship
The Travel Chapter are one of the UK’s leading holiday
letting agencies, providing a wide choice of high-quality,
personally inspected properties across the UK and
beyond. They work closely with their holiday property owners
to create a relationship that adds value for both the property
owner and the customer. They look after every aspect of their
holiday rental, from marketing to consumers, pricing and yield
management through to cleaning and caretaking. Their network
of brands ensures customers can find their holiday with ease
and their close relationship with owners means they can ensure
the properties meet the standards that customers have come to
expect. Marketing Director James Starkey explains.
The rise in holiday rentals, home-sharing and peer-to-peer services means an
increasing number of people have become aware of the holiday rental industry over
the past tenyears.
More and more customers are choosing to swap their traditional holidays for the
space, flexibility and comforts of a self-catering home, or add an additional break
during another part of the year.
The rise in demand for the industry, coupled with an increase in awareness of the
UK as a destination in itself and a wider consciousness from customers of their
impact on the environment, point to a positive outlook for the domestic UK holiday
»CEO: James Morris
»Established in 1989, originally
as Farm & Cottage Holidays
»Head office located in
Bideford, North Devon
»No. of employees: Over 300
»Services: Holiday letting
»The Travel Chapter will send
in excess of 500,000 people
on holiday this year, with that
number set to increase by over
25 per cent in the following
12 months
»Over 5,500 holiday properties
managed across more than 30
»Flagship brand:
The Travel Chapter
Highlighting best practice
Supporting wider UK tourism
The increase in demand from
consumers and the rise of holiday lets
as an investment opportunity means
the holiday rental industry is also doing
its bit to support the wider tourism
industry across the UK; especially in
rural areas.
Increased reach of marketing,
especially through social media
channels, acts as inspiration for people
to visit parts of the UK that they
previously may not have been aware
of or considered and helps people to
realise the beauty and opportunities
that exist closer to home.
A rise in holiday rental
The rise in awareness of the
holiday rental market has inevitably
led to more people investing in
With the rise of home-sharing, the
awareness of self-catering breaks
has increased. It’s now very simple
for someone to set up an online
profile and be taking bookings almost
instantly for anything from a spare
room to a newly built holiday let.
It’s important for those considering
this as an investment opportunity to
take the right advice, from creating
a property that’s perfectly suited to
your customers, through to how
pricing and yield management are
designed to generate the best return
on yourinvestment.
Managing change and
growth at pace
As a business we are passionate about
quality. It’s something we ensure
throughout every area of our business
and covers the properties we manage,
our brands and websites and the way
we deal with customers.
While we understand how automation,
AI and other areas of improved
technology can drive efficiency, great
brands will differentiate themselves on
an award-winning customer experience
with people at the heart of it. Our
approach to managing properties
gives each owner a dedicated property
manager who works with the
wider business to improve property
performance, analyse industry trends
and maximise the bookings for each
owner. This, in turn, leads to long-
lasting relationships.
The UK holiday rental
market continues to see
a rise in demand
Great brands
themselves on
an award-
with people at
the heart of it
Differentiating yourselves
in a growing, consolidating
While the rising demand for holiday
rentals in the UK is positive, it remains
important that we keep being able
to differentiate ourselves from the
competition. While the number of
holiday rentals continues to grow, the
number of agencies for owners to
choose from is quickly consolidating.
The rising costs of marketing and
increasing consumer expectations from
their digital experience are making it
more and more difficult for traditional
regional agencies to compete. This is
shown by the fact that since January
2016, we have acquired 21 businesses,
and within the wider industry there
have been more than 45 acquisitions
that we are aware of.
We aim to keep our brands at the
forefront of innovation and digital
technology, using vast amounts
of data to drive decision-making,
adapting and changing our strategy
based on new technology and trends
that we monitor.
Our approach to marketing, and
ultimately promoting our properties,
means not only can our properties
be found in a wide variety of places
online, but we can also create brands
and experiences that are better suited
to our customers. From our flagship
brand,, to
our lifestyle brands such as Canine
Cottages, The Big Domain and Hide &
Sleep as well as our regionally specific
brands, we can ensure our marketing
remains relevant for our various
customer segments and our properties
enjoy high levels of occupancy and
bookings throughout the year.
With this change to a more
consolidated market, we know the
importance of keeping the core values
of a small business as we evolve and
change to become a larger company.
As the shape of the market continues
to change and our business continues
to grow at pace, it’s important we
keep to our values; putting customers
first and building long-lasting
relationships with owners that ensure
customers come back time and time
We can
ensure our
relevant for
our various
segments and
our properties
enjoy high
levels of
and bookings
the year
The Travel Chapter has
properties all across the
UK, including this one in
the Lake District

This article was sponsored by The Travel Chapter. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster