Bethany Travel heading to Millsboro
Same name, same service, even the same contact information. Cindy McCabe wants to let everyone know that the only thing that is changing about her business, Bethany Travel, is the location.
McCabe has been in the travel business for almost eight years now and began her own company, Dream Vacations, in 2005 out of Millsboro. When she merged with agent Melinda Johnson’s 12-year-old company, Bethany Travel, only a few months later, she wanted to reach the Bethany-Ocean View-Fenwick demographic
After Johnson’s retirement, McCabe ran both locations with the help of Jill Kelly, a 25-year travel agent who worked with Johnson. Now, McCabe and Kelly are relocating Bethany Travel to the Millsboro site of Dream Vacations.
“Expanding down here has really been great for us,” said McCabe, who was able to inherit many clients that colleague Johnson had previously dealt with. “Our shop in Millsboro is a lot bigger, and it’s a brand new building,” said McCabe.
Many of Kelly’s and McCabe’s clients are dealt with over the phone or through e-mail. “For them, there’s not much of a change,” said McCabe. All phone calls, faxes and e-mails will be handled at the Millsboro location, primarily by the same staff that’s been with two businesses. There have been very few staff changes, so to keep clients working with familiar faces.
“We’ve really pressed our advertising to include both names: Bethany Travel and Dream Vacations,” said McCabe. “We’ve tied the names together, and we want people to recognize us.”
While McCabe runs weekly advertisements with local newspapers and radio plugs, most of the talk about her business is spread by word-of-mouth. “We really rely a lot on people telling their family and friends about the great time they had on their vacation,” she said. “That’s how most people hear about us.”
With the shopping mall location of Bethany Travel, behind Beebe Medical Center in Millville, there was often heavy foot traffic. “People would walk in and pick up a brochure,” said Kelly. “That’s really died down a lot, and it makes sense to consolidate into one store. We’re trying to do this all in a very positive manner.”
To help keep clients attuned, McCabe said the business plans to deliver documents and pamphlets as needed, and office hours will extend into Saturdays, as well.
Customer service is the primary goal for Kelly and McCabe. “We’re not like a retail store,” Kelly said. “We don’t sell anything tangible. The way we keep people coming back is through our customer service. We’re selling our service.”
McCabe is looking to help anyone, no matter their budget or destination. “Agencies are very integrated,” said McCabe. “If we haven’t been somewhere you want to go, there’s a good chance we know someone who has, whether another travel agent or a client who returned from a trip.”
“Some people are wary of credit card fraud, too,” said Kelly. “There are people who work with us just because they don’t want to worry about the risk of identity theft online.”
The service that Dream Vacations/Bethany Travel provides is unsurpassed by anything that online booking agencies will offer, she said. Postcards, letters, even personal courtesy calls are all accommodations customers will encounter with the staff and Kelly’s and McCabe’s branch.
McCabe also added that she takes calls 24/7, no matter what the circumstance. “We want to be there for our customers,” she said, “and we will do our best to be there for them”
Booking vacations and getaways is not something the two got into for the money, but rather for the joy of helping others.
“It’s always so satisfying for me to fulfill someone’s dream,” said Kelly. “When someone comes back and shares their pictures and memories with us, telling us how much fun they had and how much they appreciate our service, there’s no better feeling than that.”
As of April 2, the agencies plan to be together under one roof, located on Route 113 south in the Millsboro Professional Center. They will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, visit their Web site at www.dreamvacationinc.com or call their office at (302) 537-7188 or (302) 933-0955..