Two former Shearings product leads have launched a new business aiming to serve what they believe is a gap in the market for freelance travel product management services.
Tricia Parry and Andrew Sowry this week debuted 2020 Travel Partners, "a one-stop shop" for any bespoke – individual or end-to-end – services required by operators.
Parry and Sowry’s services include holiday programme planning, contracting accommodation, web and brochure copywriting and proofreading, brochure launches, product training and sales events.
Offering decades of travel industry experience, the duo anticipate interest from coach and river cruise operators owing to their respective backgrounds, but are open to commissions from companies offering any holidays of any type, and via any form of transport.
Together with hundreds of industry colleagues, Parry told TTG how she and Sowry were suddenly tasked with juggling home schooling with job hunting when Shearings parent Specialist Leisure Group collapsed in May – and managed to turn it into an opportunity.
"Following the devastating demise of SLG, the lack of relevant job opportunities and increasing numbers of contacts placed on furlough, we realised we had to take the matter into our own hands," said Parry.
"We were both determined to remain in the travel industry and play a part in shaping its future, so the idea of 2020 Travel Partners was devised.
"In the current, ever-changing business environment, we believe 2020 Travel Partners is a fresh approach and our new business model serves a gap in the market with regards to offering travel product management services."
Parry said the duo would, in essence, become part of their clients’ product teams, working directly on their behalf for the term of any agreed project.
She added the pair would look to join forces with other partners and colleagues "as interest grows and the business develops".
Parry spent 13 years with Cresta Holidays, followed by 17 at Shearings where she worked as product manager across the operator’s UK and European teams before becoming river and ocean cruise product manager in 2016.
Sowry, meanwhile, spent nine years working at Greatdays Travel Group before joining Shearings as European product manager in 2016.