Jacada Travel is branching out into Europe and is also looking to grow its business through agents
The company was founded in 2008 with a focus on Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Polar regions, but is now expanding to offer tours in Italy, Spain, Croatia, London and Paris for 2016.
More of the UK and France - along with Greece, Turkey, Switzerland and Slovenia - will follow later in 2016 and into 2017, the operator said.
Jacada will focus on offering “unique ideas” for clients in the program, such as a visit to a gondola yard in Venice to give ‘backstage’ access to see how the gondolas are crafted and maintained.
In Zadar in Croatia, clients can get involved in an underwater excavation at the sunken village of Tukljaca in the Adriatic, where artefacts dating back 3,000 years have been found, while in Paris, there is a tour of a restoration workshop in the Louvre on offer.
“Around 70% of our clients are from the US, so expanding into Europe made sense for their perspective,” said Jacada Travel’s marketing and editorial manager Heather Richardson. “But as a London-based company, it also makes sense for us as it’s on our doorstep, and Europe’s a place we all know well and see a lot of potential in.”
Richardson, one of TTG’s 30 Under 30 Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders, added: “Growth in the US was accidental to be honest. But we would like to focus on growing UK business this year and will be doing more events with our clients here. We also think agents could be a part of that growth with us.”
She said the key would be to forming personal relationships with agents, rather than looking for large numbers.
“We have founded the business based on strong personal relationships – the ones we have with our partners on the ground and those with clients, so we would like to also extend that philosophy to the trade too,” said Richardson.
“We’re not a mass market product so we would be looking for a select number of luxury agents really. We would like to invite them to come and see us in the office for training, to meet our experts and to see how we do things.”