Luxury tour operator Carrier is to work with seasoned trade relationships manager Lee Marshall as it looks to bolster trade partnerships.
Marshall will be working on a consultancy basis with Carrier based on his 35 years of experience in travel, including a 15-year run with Inspiring Travel Company, which he left at the end of last year.
He left ITC with a plan to launch his own consultancy business, which will now go live in January and will be working with a select portfolio of clients, including Carrier. Their work together will kick off in January as peaks gets into full flow.
Carrier’s head of sales Rick Milne said Marshall’s role would be to focus on new business development.
“Carrier’s reputation amongst the trade is stronger than ever,” he said. “Our operational excellence, financial stability, customer-centric refunds policy and continued efforts to provide genuine support to our trade partners and their clients during Covid-19 has taken trust in our brand to a new level.”
Milne told TTG that many new agents had been getting in touch with Carrier during the crisis wanting to work with the operator, with up to 50% of bookings in recent months having come from agents new to the brand.
“The appointment of Lee is part of our plan to maximise the opportunity we now have to develop and grow trade relationships,” said Milne, who added there had been a big spike in bookings of late, meaning Carrier was finally starting to see business return to £1-million-a-week levels.
“I’m delighted to welcome Lee to the Carrier team during a pivotal time for the business,” Carrier’s managing director Mark Duguid added. “The exceptional service and support we provided to our trade partners during the pandemic has resulted in a huge increase in the number of agents looking to work with us, and I am confident Lee’s reputation and experience in the industry will be a great asset to us as we establish ourselves further as the trade’s preferred luxury operator.”
“Carrier is a deeply impressive business, with strong values and talented people, so I’m thoroughly delighted to be working with Rick, Mark and the team to further develop strategic trade relationships,” said Marshall. “I’ve long respected the Carrier brand, so it’s a privilege to work alongside this multi award-winning team. Now more than ever, it’s so important to choose your partners carefully and having seen first-hand how Carrier has operated during the Covid crisis tells me all I need to know. I can’t wait to get started.”
Carrier was voted Luxury Operator of the Year for a third consecutive year at the TTG Luxury Travel Awards 2020 in February. More recently, Which? has listed Carrier as one of the specialist and smaller holiday firms to have led the way during Covid-19.