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19 May 2016

BY Sophie Griffiths

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TRFBLI

Leisuretime boosts its support for the trade

Coach operator Leisuretime is to start working more closely with agents after appointing a trade support manager.

Ceri and George Johnson
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George Johnson: “The trade is immensely important. It has supported us for 20 years and is key to our success."

The Welsh operator, which is run by mother and son Ceri and George Johnson (pictured), has been steadily growing in size since its launch in 1995. It previously had only one store, which sold just its own coach trips, but over the last two years it has opened a further six additional shops, as well as a call centre, and now sells other products alongside its own.

The company is now hoping to expand the number of agents with which it works through its newly appointed trade support manager, ex-Thomas Cook retail manager Nathan Bowen.

“We’ve created a Facebook page for agents, and we’ve expanded our pick-up points from South Wales to Bristol, so we now want to expand our relationships with agents based in the Bristol area,” director George Johnson told TTG.

He added: “The trade is immensely important. It has supported us for 20 years and is key to our success. A lot of travel businesses are looking to move online but we want to make sure we keep agents as a big part of our business plan.

“We want to get the name of Leisuretime out there in the industry and we have ambitions to grow outside of south Wales. We are keen to do a lot more to get agents onboard.”

Bowen also hinted that the firm could look to other agents around the UK. “The aim is to work with agents elsewhere”, he said.

Leisuretime has also increased the number of tours it has on offer by 20% since last summer.

It offers breaks in Devon and Cornwall, as well as Jersey, the Isle of Wight and European city breaks.

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