The Travel Corporation Tour Brands will add Trafalgar and Costsaver to the group’s new agency portal next month, according to the new EMEA managing director.
Kelly Jackson also plans a host of incentives and fam trips for agents ahead of the turn-of-year peaks season in January.
TTC established its Tour Brands division in March, to create a single source for sales, marketing and operations of Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, Costsaver and Contiki, led by chief executive Gavin Tollman.
South Africa-based Jackson was appointed managing director of the EMEA region for TTC Tour Brands in July, with UK-based Becky Francis as EMEA sales director and Carrie Hopkins in the newly created role of EMEA marketing director.
She has spent about half her time in the past few months in the UK as she has been bringing the brands and teams together.
Jackson told a Travel Weekly webcast that having one portal for the tour brands makes life easier for agents as they can access all their bookings in one place.
Luxury brands Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold are on portal, along with youth specialist Contiki – with value-for-money brand Trafalgar and budget brand Costsaver being added in November.
“Everyone keeps asking when Trafalgar and Costsaver are going to be on board,” she said. “That’s a positive sign that they love going to one place; seeing everything at one glance and making the most of it – we want it to be easy to deal with.”
Having the brands fully means they are “all singing from the same hymn sheet” and it’s a “much easier message to digest”, she added.
“It’s working extremely well, having that direction – we’re allowed to be agile, we can make decisions quickly,” she said.
She also highlighted how more consumers are turning to agents for guidance and expertise nowadays, adding: “Our priority is to really reinforce our position within the trade and really make sure that we are a friend of our trade partners.
“We know the value and we believe we are stronger together – we want to support them in every initiative.”
She said agents have praised the new dedicated contact centre, commenting: “Everyone loves it and gives us compliments that it only takes about 10 seconds to get to it.
“We made sure we are equipped to assist the travel trade now because we know their jobs are extremely difficult.
“Our team on the ground, led by Becky, will be in store during training, whatever they need, we are there.”
Furthermore, there will be support for homeworkers, as their needs differ from high-street stores.
She hopes to launch a range of trade initiatives ahead of the January peaks, such as incentive fam trips, agent discounts, in-store training and e-learning platforms.
“We are definitely going to make sure that we are rewarding our agents and really thank them for the support,” she said.
“They, like us, have been through the wringer in the last two years.
“I couldn’t wait to travel again. You learn so much more about the world and yourself when you are travelling so we want to make sure agents are afforded those experiences.”