Girl About community seeks specialist agents

Juliet Dennis

A new online community for women who love travel is to recruit a network of specialist travel agents to book bespoke itineraries for its consumer travel club. Girl About Travel, described as

‘TripAdvisor for women in the UK’, has grown out of lifestyle blog Girl About Yorkshire and has 25,000 Facebook followers. Set up by travel marketer Lyndsey

Thomas in 2016, former head of tourism for Aviareps, the brand has 35 Girl About ambassadors across the UK who share reviews for their own areas. It has already compiled a directory

of 50 family-friendly hotels in Europe and will launch its consumer Travel Club on Saturday (September 19). Offering tailor-made Atol-protected

holidays that “can’t be Googled”, the club will also offer destination content, advice and expert views. Agent Kate Holroyd, owner

of Strawberry Holidays, is already working with Thomas on the club, which aims to be a “one-stop-shop” for women to plan and book holidays. Thomas said: “We plan to have

a network of agents, like our ‘blog squadders’ across the UK. We want to create a travel club that

Lyndsey Thomas

We want to create

a travel club that gives women access to agents with itineraries tailored to our content

gives women access to agents with itineraries tailored to our content.” She said agents would “cover

all sorts of niches” such as vegan, wellness and special-needs holidays. As well as agents, Thomas plans to work with specialist operators

Travel Counsellors puts 100 jobs at risk at Manchester head office

Travel Counsellors has begun a consultation with about 100 staff at its Manchester headquarters, affecting about a third of the back office team which supports its 1,300 UK agents. The company insisted staff reductions would not affect the level of service provided to its homeworkers. It has launched a programme to transition some head office staff into becoming travel counsellors.

8 17 SEPTEMBER 2020

and put together exclusive itineraries for members. North America Travel Service has signed up. Thomas hopes the club will

attract around 2,500 women who already know the brand and help them feel confident about booking holidays post-Covid. “We are trying to create a safe place to take the anxiety away,” she added. Travel Club launch event Girl

About Travel Extravaganza takes place on September 19-20 on and will feature giveaways and live talks. The club costs £99 to join until the end of 2021.

Ex-STA employee backs TravelCares with gin trip prize

A former STA Travel employee who owns a gin distillery is leading a fundraising bid for the TravelCares campaign to support agents adversely affected by Covid-19. Ian Spink, co-owner of

Audemus Spirits, wanted to raise money for the cause after watching the company he worked for cease trading last month. Audemus is giving away four

prizes: two top prizes of trips for two to its distillery in Cognac, France; the chance to make your own gin with the team; and 12 bottles of flagship drink Pink Pepper Gin. Anyone who donates, regardless

of the amount, is entered into the GinSTAstic draw to win a prize. The draw for the 12 bottles of

gin and for the online masterclass will be made on September 30. Once the fundraising target of £6,000 has been reached, the draw for the two weekend trips for two, including transport, will take place. So far, more than £800 has

been raised in addition to the ongoing TravelCares campaign, set up by Abta LifeLine and Travel Weekly, which has drawn donations

totalling more than £13,500. i Donate at: save-travel-win-gin

Saga closes Destinology as

group posts £55m half-year loss Saga has closed its luxury tailor-made tour operating brand Destinology, which had an Atol licence for nearly 30,000 passengers, as part of a strategy to refocus on its core business. Last week, the over-50s specialist reported half-year losses of £55.5 million. Sir Roger De Haan returned as chairman after investing £100 million in the business.

This year’s WTM London show will be an entirely virtual event

WTM has confirmed this year’s London trade show and its Travel Forward technology event on November 2-4 will be entirely virtual. Organisers said changes to advice on social distancing meant previous plans to run a part-real, part-virtual show were no longer possible. Senior director Simon Press said: “Sadly, this year will be the first time since we launched in 1980 that there will be no live event.”

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