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AT A GLANCE Tui’s Travelopia sale

l Travelopia’s brands include Austravel, Sunsail, Hayes & Jarvis, Exodus Travels, Sovereign and Citalia.

l Dedicated trade-only long- haul brand Travelmood was launched in October by Tui Specialist Holidays Group.

l It was set up after agents said they wanted a product only sellable through them because sister brands such as Hayes & Jarvis also sell direct to customers.

Will Waggott:

‘We’d like closer ties with the trade’

Travelopia plans ‘massive growth’ through agents

Lucy Huxley

Travelopia, the new name for Tui’s Specialist division that is to be sold by Tui Group, is targeting “massive growth” through high street agents, according to bosses.

Chief executive Will Waggott

said having agents knowing the 50-plus brands in Travelopia’s portfolio and being able to “explain the incredible experiences that they can deliver for customers” would be key to their success. Tui last week announced it would

be selling its Specialist Group, which is a mix of trade and direct- sell brands, to focus on becoming a fully vertically integrated business. Only two brands will be excluded:

Crystal Ski and Thomson Lakes & Mountains, which will be retained under Tui UK & Ireland. The sale process is expected to begin in the autumn. Waggott said: “Distribution is

going to be very important to our business and we would definitely like to develop closer ties with the trade – both in the UK and globally. We are looking to expand our trade sales and have an opportunity now to really move forward with that.” Joint managing director Martin Froggatt said consumers faced “information overload”, adding: “People want to talk to knowledgeable agents who understand our products and which experiences they might like to do.” He said sales for his brands

through agents in the US had grown 18% a year for the last three

4 19 May 2016

“We have incredible loyalty: agents can be assured we will deliver for their customer”

years and he hoped this could be emulated in the UK. “It might not be the same numbers, but travel agents who are smart can thrive by selling our brands. We have incredible loyalty, so they can be assured we will deliver for their customers.” Froggatt added that there was huge scope for agents to sell more of his adventure brands including Exodus and Quark Expeditions. Mathew Prior, joint managing

director, said: “We’re gearing up for massive growth through the high street.” He added that some of his

lWill Waggott was Specialist Group chief executive.

l Martin Froggatt was managing director of Tui’s Specialist Events Student.

l Mathew Prior has been managing director of Crystal Holidays and Specialist Holidays Group.

brands had great relationships with agents, who had already responded positively to its new trade-only brand, Travelmood. Two more sales reps are being recruited to take the team to 10. John Sullivan, commercial head

at Advantage Travel Partnership, said: “It depends on who the buyer is but I think the sale could be really beneficial for our members. “It’s more choice and there are

some strong brands. These are the types of brands independent agents are good at selling.” Jeanne Lally, co-owner of Travel

Bureau in Gosforth, Newcastle, said: “We sell a lot of niche operators so we would be interested in [selling] these brands. It would certainly be

worth having the conversation.” › Special Report, page 12 › Comment, page 32


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