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Q Nick Hughes& A


sales director, tour operations - dnata B2B Europe, Gold Medal and Travel 2


The countdown has started to the biggest celebration of travel agents in the UK – the Travel Weekly Agent Achievement Awards. We chat to Nick Hughes, sales director, tour operations at dnata B2B Europe, Gold Medal and Travel 2, headline sponsors of the AAAs


Headline sponsors


Q. Why have you decided to sponsor the 2018 Agent Achievement Awards? A: The AAAs are one of the highlights of the travel industry calendar and the Gold Medal and Travel 2 sales team will be out in force to celebrate the agents’ achievements. Very often the retailers that are being celebrated for their success are the ones who have shown that they are not afraid to innovate and don’t want to just stand still. That is at the heart of the dnata ethos – we are committed to developing in all areas, introducing new products and being the best at what we do. The AAAs are a chance for the agents who sell our holidays every day to enjoy a bit of glitz and glamour and for our teams to thank them personally for their support.


Q: Tell us a little bit about how you work with agents. A: Gold Medal and Travel 2 work with agent partners on a multitude of fronts, in the long-haul, luxury, touring and cruise sectors. What has been really interesting is seeing the way the agents view the brands – very often individuals have their favourite and this preference may go back to when they were training. The two brands remain very much separate, but we want agents to consider them both so they can pick the best product for their clients. That is why we are putting so much emphasis on offering the best support, great product and pricing and eye-catching incentives.


Q: What has been the highlight/biggest achievement at your company over the past year? A: The performance of our specialist brands and the overall performance of the business (we finished our last financial year 8% up) during what has been a turbulent trading environment. Again, that is a direct result of our improved engagement with agents and we are all incredibly grateful for the ongoing support from agents and suppliers.


Q: What do you have in store for the year ahead? A: We’ll be hosting more than 350 agents on fam trips in the next 12 months, helping them gain more knowledge and experience to assist them with offering expert advice to their customers. We are looking to add to the sales team to further support our partners and have a raft of incentives, technology upgrades and new product to ensure continual improvement.


Q: Will you be promoting any particular products or services around the event? A: Naturally, we have our specialist products in Pure Luxury, Simply Luxury by Travel 2, Cruise Plus and Touring. The more we specialise in these areas, the greater the response from partners as we look to work with them. All the industry research shows that holidaymakers of all ages are looking at these sectors, so we are well placed to capitalise on the trend.


32 travelweekly.co.uk 7 June 2018


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