“Clients were impressed that we’d been invited on to

the BBC. It raised our profile and brought us kudos.” PONDERS CRUISE AND TRAVEL’S CLARE DUDLEY ADAMS ON THE POWER OF RADIO, P44

Kuoni to launch fi rst new brand in a decade

Gary Noakes

KUONI IS to launch a new brand aimed at filling the gap between packages and tailor-made holidays, having “pretty much” completed its standalone retail store expansion. The unnamed new brand will be launched at the end of June, aimed at bringing a “modular approach” to packaging online.

Speaking at the launch of its annual

Worldwide Trends report, Derek Jones, chief executive of Kuoni parent company Der Touristik UK, said: “We have a name, we have a plan, it will be happening in the next four to five months.” He added that the new brand, the first from Kuoni in a decade, would be “an online-first proposition”. “We believe there is a space

beyond the fixed itinerary and the full tailor-made. We believe we can deliver something into that space that doesn’t exist,” Jones told TTG. He admitted that Kuoni and others had tried the modular approach unsuccessfully in the past, but that technology now allowed more components to be assembled online. “There is a way of creating a lot of options in front of customers with a


Man admits to unlawful killing of Tui agent Cassie

THE MAN charged with murdering Tui agent Cassie Hayes at her Southport branch has admitted he killed her unlawfully, a court has heard. Cassie, 28, died in hospital after being attacked at the store on January 13 and sustaining a throat injury. Andrew Burke, 30, of Vincent

Kuoni’s new brand will offer clients a “modular approach” to itineraries

base itinerary,” he said. He added that this would not detract from the role of agents: “We do not see it touching the real value-add in store.” Kuoni will open its 50th own brand shop in the next few weeks and Jones said this more or less marked the end of its retail ambitions. “Eight years ago when I joined we heat-mapped the whole country in descending order,” he said. “We are pretty much where we want to be now; we are within 20 to 30 miles of all our customers. “That gives us a real solid base. In 2016 we opened 10 shops; we won’t be doing that again. We don’t really have stores looking for people, which was the old Thomas Cook and Tui strategy.”

However, he said that he would seek more independent travel agent partners and more partnerships with John Lewis. “Where we have big gaps geographically, if an independent agent comes to us, then brilliant; we can fill the gaps with B2B. “I think there will be more B2B

stores, more John Lewis, but in terms of standalone high street, I think we are happy where we are now.” The 50th Kuoni-branded outlet will be in the new John Lewis at Westfield London, which opens in March. “Every time John Lewis opens another store they invite us to look at it,” Jones said.

Kuoni Trends report, p14

Street, St Helens, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court via video link this week, according to reports. His barrister, David McLachlan QC, said there would be “no issue” that Cassie was unlawfully killed by Burke, but psychiatric reports are being prepared. Judge David Aubrey QC adjourned the hearing until April 9, when Burke is expected to enter pleas. A GoFundMe page set up by Travel Gossip to raise money for Cassie’s family has surpassed the £7,500 mark.

Tui agent Cassie Hayes was murdered last month

 22.02.2018 05 IN BRIEF

CYCLONE HITS NEW ZEALAND A number of districts in New Zealand’s South Island declared a state of emergency this week as the remnants of Cyclone Gita hit the country. Christchurch saw flooding with the heavy rains and mayors urged people to stay at home. The impending arrival of strong winds prompted Air New Zealand to take the precautionary step of cancelling all flights in and out of Wellington airport on Tuesday afternoon until midnight.

WYNDHAM SEALS $1.3BN DEAL Wyndham Worldwide has sold its European business – including Hoseasons and James Villa Holidays – to a private equity firm in a $1.3 billion deal. The sale, to Platinum Equity, includes a 20-year agreement whereby a 1% royalty will be paid for the use of the “by Wyndham Vacations Rentals” endorsement. The European business operates more than two dozen brands, including, Landal GreenParks and Novasol.

JONES JOINS ABTA BOARD Derek Jones, chief executive of Der Touristik UK, has joined Abta’s board of directors. He fills the vacant position on the board for a member elected by all Abta principals with an annual turnover of more than £50 million. Abta chairman Noel Josephides said: “He [Derek] brings a great breadth of experience and expertise that will be extremely relevant to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”

SINGAPORE’S NEW CABINS Singapore Airlines has brought its latest first, business and premium economy cabins to the UK for the first time. An Airbus A380 landed at Heathrow last weekend fitted with the new cabin-style first class and a revamped business seat that offers more storage. The airline’s SQ305 will offer the new cabins until April 5. From April 7, the new aircraft will operate the SQ317 service. The inbound flight is SQ322. The new A380s are also being deployed on services to Hong Kong, with additional destinations due to be revealed in the coming months.

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