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Product manager (PM)

£Competitive

International, United Kingdom

Job Purpose

Inntravel is renowned for the highest standards of customer service and for offering innovative, high quality self-guided walking and cycling holidays and independent journeys across Europe.

 

A Product Manager plays an instrumental role in delivering the Inntravel experience to customers, with wide-ranging responsibility for new product development, managing and improving existing holidays, contracting, and oversight of our day-to-day relationship with our suppliers.

 

Effective communication to provide detailed product information across the business to support the promotion, sale and operation of all holidays is a core aspect of the PM role.

 

Main Responsibilities and Key Tasks

 

New product development

Our product strategy constantly seeks to identify new destinations and imaginative experiences that make up a uniquely Inntravel holiday. Product development for Inntravel is not just about identifying places that offer superb options for walking and cycling, important as they are. An Inntravel Slow holiday is a much broader experience, helping our customers to discover the true authenticity of a place – its traditions, history, environment, flora and fauna, gastronomy, and the hospitality of local people.

 

Ideas come from detailed research and familiarity with a country or region through workshops, visits, and building up a network of expert contacts. Once we’re confident that a destination has the key ingredients for Inntravel, the detailed work of development and delivery takes place (paying due regard throughout that the proposed holiday meets our requirements for quality, safety, price, availability and access):

  • determining the routes or other activities, visits and experiences to feature in the holiday;
  • developing relationships with suitable local partners who can deliver the right quality of experience for us on the ground (eg. accommodation providers, taxi companies, equipment suppliers);
  • negotiation of rates, services and allocations with suppliers, and securing signed contracts;
  • post-development tasks including holiday information provision, customer documentation, and product promotion (see below).

Current product maintenance and performance

A very substantial aspect of a PM’s role is the management and improvement of our many existing holidays to ensure they continue to meet our requirements. Working closely with, and supported by, the Holiday Information and Feedback team, the Commercial team, and overseas consultants, tasks include:

  • ongoing review of customer feedback questionnaires, which provide detailed accounts of customers’ experiences, highlight quality or route issues, and offer suggestions for changes and enhancements;
  • investigation and resolution of specific queries or problems, especially relating to contractual matters and quality issues with suppliers, and helping to implement important changes to routes in response to changes on the ground that we become aware of;
  • regular general review of products and suppliers (including through research and local visits) to identify and implement opportunities for improvement;
  • annual recontracting of suppliers.

Supplier liaison

We work mainly directly with our hoteliers and other suppliers, and occasionally using trusted local ground agents. Our suppliers are our essential partners in delivering the experience of an Inntravel holiday to customers, and our close relationships with many of them have been sustained over many years. Maintaining these strong supplier relationships, with support from overseas consultants and the Holiday Operations team, is another key aspect of the PM’s role.

 

Holiday information provision

The PM provides (and keeps updated) the extensive product information that is used throughout the business, ranging from information about key selling features, accommodation, itineraries and routes used for the sales intranet, to setting up new suppliers in our system and providing the costs, contractual terms and specific logistical information required for pricing and data set-up.

 

The PM also delivers product training to Inntravel staff, organises staff educationals, and provides expert product advice and guidance to all customer-facing teams.

 

Customer documentation

Our customer notes for our self-guided holidays contain step-by-step route directions, practical instructions and information, comprehensive background on the history, gastronomy, geography and culture of a destination, and numerous insights, suggestions and recommendations that reveal the hidden places to visit and things to do on a holiday.

 

Route directions are written by a team of staff and consultant walkers trained in route-note writing, and much of the rest of the content is written and kept up-to-date by the Holiday Information and Feedback Team. The PM briefs the writers with relevant product details and background information, and has responsibility for approval and signing off completed documents.

 

A PM may, from time to time, write route notes and/or background information for customer documentation.

 

Product Promotion

 

The PM plays an essential role in the marketing and promotion of holidays. Tasks include:

  • brief new holidays, and changes to current holidays, to Marketing for brochure, website and other promotional material, including image selections. Sign off all factual details for publication;
  • support Marketing with interim promotions, eg. Slow Lane magazine features, newsletters, tactical destination campaigns, late availability mentions, etc;
  • gather new images from tourist offices and suppliers;
  • arrange PR press trips;
  • attend customer-facing public events.

 

Other Functions

  • participate on Saturday sales rota, and answer sales e-mails as requested at peak times;
  • provide support with out of hours issues (with participation on out of hours rota as required).

Key attributes, skills and characteristics

  • Fluency in at least one foreign European language, relevant to the Product Manager’s area of focus
  • Experience of contracting or general product management
  • Strong administrator, with a good sense of holiday logistics
  • Clear thinker with excellent communication skills, able to inspire a passion for our product in others
  • Good inter-personal skills with an ability to relate appropriately to suppliers, customers and colleagues
  • Highly positive and self-motivated, but also a good team player working under direction and to shared objectives
  • Able to handle numerous concurrent tasks and work under pressure to regular deadlines
  • Demonstrates some passion for rural Europe and its culture, traditions and heritage
  • Demonstrates a keen commercial acumen
  • Able and willing to travel regularly overseas

 

Working Relationships

  • Overseas Consultants
  • Product Executives
  • Holiday Information and Feedback team
  • Commercial and Product Data team
  • Marketing team
  • Holiday Operations team
  • Regular liaison with all other teams, including Finance, Sales, Customer Services, and Administration / Ticketing.

Inntravel company background

Established in 1984, Inntravel is a widely respected, leading provider of ‘at your own pace’ self-guided walking, cycling and other activity holidays across Europe. Innovative, paying meticulous attention to detail, and delivering the highest standards of personalised customer service, a team of over 70 staff work from idyllic offices in rural surroundings near York. In 2017 the company achieved annual turnover of almost £20m from a loyal base of UK customers (two-thirds of whom have booked previously) and a rapidly increasing number of international customers.

 

Inntravel was for many years a family-owned business, and it retains a strong sense of independence and autonomy. Since 2008 the company has been an integral part of the well-established Hotelplan UK family of specialist tour operators, which includes Inghams, Ski Total, Esprit, Santa’s Lapland, Regal Dive, and the adventure travel experts Explore Worldwide. Hotelplan is a pan-European travel group headquartered in Switzerland, under the ownership of Migros, the leading Swiss co-operative retailer.

 

Inntravel – inspiring individual discovery

Expertise through knowledge and experience

Respect for the places and people we work with

Embracing individuality and creativity

Trust through openness and integrity

Shared enthusiasm and pride in all we do

 

This Position Description is intended to describe the general content of and requirements for the performance of this position. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements, and you will also be expected to undertake such tasks as are reasonable and relevant to the scope of the post. Job descriptions will be regularly reviewed to ensure they are an accurate representation of your role.

Product manager (PM)
Industry sector:Tour operators
Job TypePerm
Job FunctionOperations
RecruiterInntravel
Job ID14725

TRFBLinkedIn
TTG Media Limited.
Place of registration: England and Wales.
Company number 08723341.
Registered address: New Bridge Street House, 30-34 New Bridge Street, London EC4V 6BJ
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