Following early assessment of the business since joining three months ago, managing director Lisa Fitzell said: “Our business from agents has seen modest growth for the last five years, but we see great potential to grow that more now and want to support agents further to do this.
“I would like to grow the level of agent business by 50% in the next five years, and I see potential for agents to bring us around a quarter of all bookings across the company… We need to let agents know that we
want and value their business.”
Fitzell said it was unlikely new on-the-road team members would be added, but existing duo Tim Maloney and Jo-Anne Fenton now have more resources to help growth, including an office-based co-ordinator to assist.
“The luxury agent continues to evolve and has much more of a concierge approach, using their ‘black book’ of contacts to take care of a network of customers, and that’s who we should be focusing on, as well as continuing to support our longstanding loyal agents, of course,” Fitzell said. “We’re very much open for business.”
Elegant Resorts is part of The Portman Group, owned by Saudi travel group Al Tayyar, and Fitzell said 2017 had been the most successful year of the business since its launch 30 years ago.
The operator is also to undergo product growth as a result of ongoing analysis of its portfolio. Japan will join the programme later this year as Elegant Resorts continues to strive towards a more experiential portfolio, having already included the likes of Tanzania, Antarctica, Iceland and Costa Rica this year. The product team has also been boosted by two people to achieve this.
But the operator’s traditional product is also “flying”, Fitzell said. “Places like Barbados continue to sell really well, and we have a great deal more villas there now, all handpicked and suited for our kind of clients.”
Ski product will also be increased, as will ultra-luxury cruising, and there will be a renewed focus on the family market, including offerings aimed at children aged 0-7, 8-12, and 12 and over.
Elegant Resorts will also reinstate brochures after switching to a single Blueprint brochure two years ago. “Our clients – and agents – have told us that they are still wanted and appreciated,” Fitzell said.