Audley Travel has appointed its first ever trade sales manager and pledged to redouble its efforts to support the trade.
Cox & Kings’ head of trade sales Greg Thurston has joined the luxury tailor-made specialist to spearhead an "increased focus" on the trade as a sales channel.
Audley has been primarily direct-sell. It appointed former Tui boss Nick Longman chief executive in September 2018, who has since appointed a number of former Tui colleagues to senior roles at Audley.
Thurston will focus on building relationships with agents and supporting them in selling Audley trips.
"Audley Travel is increasing its focus on the trade as a sales channel for its tailor-made trips with a dedicated team to work with travel agents and the appointment of the operator’s first trade sales manager," said Audley.
"The move will give agents a clear path to understand and sell Audley’s product, as well as enhancing their experience of working with the operator."
Longman said: "The vast majority of Audley’s trips have historically been sold direct to consumers through our in-house country specialists.
"However, we recognise the significant importance of the travel trade in a wider distribution model and are delighted to be able to offer external agents access to a dedicated team who will work with them on a daily basis to design tailor-made trips for their clients."
Of his appointment, Thurston added: "It’s a really exciting time to be joining Audley Travel, and I am delighted to have been asked to head up the new trade sales team.
"I’m looking forward to meeting up with agents and sharing the excellent product range and experiences that a trip with Audley can offer their loyal customer base."
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