Agent diary: “Princess Ruby, aged eight, refuses to fly anything other than first unless it’s Virgin, as she likes the bar area. Really?” David Walker, page 38

Just Go talks to consortia to bolster trade bookings

Benjamin Coren

JG Travel Group is increasing its efforts with the trade, highlighting its brands selling through agents. Te push is being led by marketing

director Danny Crowe, who returned to the travel sector when he joined the group earlier this year, aſter working in other industries. He said the Cheltenham-based

operator was opening up channels with four consortia – Te Travel Network Group, Te Advantage Travel Partnership, Te Global Travel Group and Freedom Travel Group – and looking to co-brand with agents. Crowe said: “We’re looking to

develop strong relationships with agents who have a desire to grow their tour business. With multimedia marketing reach, we are able to support agents to grow their revenue. “Tere is an appetite for what we

do, and what we’ve picked up from some of the consortia is that they are seeing the value of touring.” JG Travel Groups’ brands

include touring arm Just Go Holidays; Omega Breaks, which provides touring products; cruise specialist Cruise Connection and US inbound operator Avalon.

Danny Crowe There is an

appetite for what we do and some of the consortia are seeing the value of touring

Crowe values the business at

£28 million, but believes the core Just Go coach product will be only part of the mix in three years’ time. He added: “Tat’s not because it’s going to decline. It will stay, and other

Royal Caribbean places order

for its third Icon-class ship Royal Caribbean International has ordered a third Icon-class ship. The vessel will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and is set for delivery in 2025. The first two 5,000-capacity Icon-class ships are due to enter service in 2022 and 2024. All three will use clean energy and feature “breakthrough” ship design. The line has indicated it would consider basing an Icon-class ship in Southampton.

10 11 JULY 2019

parts of the business like cruise and specialist products will grow.” Crowe vowed to relaunch the

cruise arm of the business as an agency and will focus on river cruise and add Asia product. “We’re fully contracted-up and

ready to go,” he said, adding that he expects to have 10 to 15 staff “in a year or so”, up from four currently. JG Travel Group, which has an

agent login, also plans to host fam trips and Crowe promised price parity for the trade.

Barrhead joins Atas as it bids to boost sales

Barrhead Travel plans to boost its cruise and touring and adventure sales and has signed up to the Association of Touring & Adventure Suppliers (Atas). It is the latest agency to join the

association and aims to appoint a touring and adventure specialist in each branch. Barrhead is in talks with Atas to

run special training events for its employees in the growing sector, having introduced a ‘Touring’ tab on its website in January. Te agency hopes to grow its

cruise business with more group bookings, exclusive product and a focus on river. Cruise accounts for a third of

Barrhead’s business. It already operates its own charter flights to Barcelona and Genoa to connect with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises departures. President Jacqueline Dobson

believes Barrhead can double its river cruise business in the next year. She said: “Product is king and

so we want to have even more exclusive product, which will either take the form of allocations or lines giving us group space. “Tis will extend to river cruising as well this year.”

Polka Dot Travel hires Oates

as agency targets 30 stores Polka Dot Travel has recruited its first regional sales manager. Karen Oates has joined from Midcounties Co-operative Travel, where she was agent support manager for the homeworking division. The 14-shop miniple is set to open four stores – in Cannock, Lichfield and Leek in Staffordshire, and Mold in north Wales – and plans to expand its retail network to 30 outlets by the end of 2020.

Travelport names ex-Sabre boss Webb to succeed Wilson as CEO

Travelport has appointed Greg Webb to succeed Gordon Wilson as chief executive. Webb is a former vice-chairman of rival GDS Sabre, for which he worked for 18 years. He will join Travelport on August 1, moving from Oracle Hospitality, where he was senior vice-president. Wilson, who was also president, said it was “time for me to hand over” after 28 years at Travelport, which was recently bought by a private equity firm for $4.4 billion.

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