Homeworking firm’s festive goodie bag initiative receives ‘amazing’ feedback

Homeworking firm Holiday Village is spreading Christmas cheer for families booked to visit Santa in Lapland this winter.

Group operations manager Karen Hodgin came up with the idea to put together Santa goodie bags for clients’ children after rescuing a £6,000 Lapland booking.

She stepped in after a client considered cancelling because she was disappointed with the supplier information available ahead of a trip to Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland.

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The agent who took the original booking had left the group but Hodgin was able to help as she had visited the resort.

“I told her what to expect, what the kids should take, where to go once there – I had a long chat with her about it as I’d been there,” she said. “After that she was quite happy to pay the holiday balance.”

When the client asked about what children received prior to departure, it gave Hodgin the idea to put together gifts for Lapland bookings, across all suppliers, helped by Holiday Village care team leader Adele Barnacle.

She said: “It made me think there’s nothing for the kids to make it special in the run-up to the trip.

“We are now sending out goodie bags for every booking a couple of days after the e-tickets have gone out.

“We put out a little message with the e-tickets, saying, ‘Don’t forget to look out for something in the post’ with a picture of Santa.

“The feedback from our agents has been amazing.”

The homeworking agency has 99 children booked to visit Lapland this Christmas and the team has been busy packaging up goodie bags for all of them, including a letter from Father Christmas himself.

The first four goodie bags, which include a colouring pad, pens, chocolates and sweets, went out last week, with the bulk due to be posted later this month. The first Lapland bookings depart on November 24.

Hodgin said: “A lot of the bookings are for children up to 10 years old so I thought this would be ideal, with a letter about the sleigh ride to Lapland and a picture of the elves. For the older children we are putting in extra chocolates.

“It’s a token gesture and hopefully will ensure customers return to us.”

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