Previously with Club Med, Danny Joel has been taken on to help grow agent business, and will work with head of sales Rebecca Burgess and Manisha Vadukul for trade support.
“Historically, the training and events which Caribtours held were more focused in the south, but I am going to be heading much more into the north and also into the south-west, for example, and seeking out new pockets of agencies around the UK,” said Joel. “Our vision is to look at the whole country now, and we are also looking for an agency sales rep in the north.”
The operator also has Nan Short on the road in Northern Ireland and has recently launched into the Republic of Ireland too.
“Year-on-year bookings are up 20%, but I think there is so much more business to be had,” said Joel. “Around 85% of our business comes from the trade, but we can move that even higher – that’s where we see the growth for the business overall.”
He said Caribtours was likely to continue organising around 20 agent events a year, with a slight increase in 2017.
“We will still have a full calendar of events, such as the annual awards dinner at Claridge’s in September, but with new agents onboard and in new destinations,” said Joel.
The operator’s January promotional campaign includes launching the first of a new series of magazines, The Luxury Travel Magazine from Caribtours, which is a revamped January sale piece. Agents will also be able to get over-branded copies to send to their clients and there will be future editions in spring and autumn.
“We hope this is something really different for the trade to engage with during peaks,” said Amberley Shermon-Jones, marketing manager. “The magazine is packed full of editorial, exclusive offers, competitions and interviews.”
A programme of agent incentives is also in place, with the chance to win a seven-night stay for two at Palm Island including flights with British Airways to St Lucia, with any bookings made by February 12 eligible for the prize promotion.
There is also a photography competition with the prize of a Canon 700d Digital SLR camera. Vouchers are also available for any booking of seven nights or more.
The operator started a big focus on Europe in September, which is set to continue with the recent addition of Brydie Boulton to the team as the new Europe product manager.