First Class Holidays is forecasting revenue growth of more than 20% next year following a complete overhaul of its trade-facing systems and expansion of its trade sales team.
The operator, which currently sells 92% through agents, achieved 12% year-on-year revenue growth this year (October to September) and expects this to increase to 22% next year.
Managing director Dan Gathercole told TTG new quote and reservations systems as well as the appointment of a dedicated key account manager would help the Canada specialist increase conversions and drive average spend per booking up £600 past the £10,000 mark.
About 20% of all First Class Holidays quotes will be produced through the new system by the end of October before it is rolled out incrementally across all quotes by January peaks.
Gathercole added: “We’ve started doing digital itineraries. Agents can send the whole itinerary to clients via a single link.”
Meanwhile, the new reservations system is being tested ahead of a spring 2019 roll-out, which Gathercole said would cut the time it takes to produce quotes in half.
Gathercole explained the new systems were significantly faster and featured more live data and better supplier integration. “It’s about producing quotes more quickly and getting them out to agents earlier.”
First Class Holidays will launch its key account programme in January with about 12 partners, following the appointment of key account manager Paula Martin.
Key accounts will have access to a dedicated marketing pot and reservations team, and will benefit from guaranteed fams and a bespoke commercial agreement offering more commission and over-branded brochures and marketing assets.
Gathercole said the operator was open to expressions of interest, while stressing new partners would be subject to a minimum revenue-per-year requirement (through First Class Holidays).
The trade sales team has grown to four over the past year with Martin, sales and marketing executive Emma Clark and regional sales manager (south) Katie Daniels joining national sales manager (north) Jonathan Whiteley.
First Class Holidays is also looking to appoint a regional sales manager for the Midlands in the New Year, while its online trade portal will go live over the next two weeks.