Sri Lanka specialist Experience Travel Group (ETG) has appointed its first-ever agent relationship manager to “significantly increase” its bookings through the trade.
Abi Northage, who has 20 years’ travel experience with British Airways, steps up to the role from a consumer-facing position at ETG.
She will be tasked with further growing ETG’s trade sales, which have increased 20% over the past year. Agent sales now account for 17% of the company’s total business.
“We’re confident Abi will ensure we offer our agent partners the maximum support possible,” said ETG co-founder and managing director Sam Clark.
ETG has this week thrown its weight behind the Love Sri Lanka campaign by launching deals to encourage bookings now the Foreign Office has softened its travel advice.
Operators and hoteliers came together following the Easter Sunday bombings to launch the campaign to help rebuild the country’s tourism trade.
Sam Clark: “Sri Lanka is the birthplace of ETG and a country very close to our hearts, so we are fully behind this campaign.”
He added it was now vital to encourage bookings for the key winter season between December and April, adding it was the campaign’s belief Sri Lanka was safe, with the addition of extra security at hotels and major sites across the country.
“[While] we saw a muted immediate response to the change of FCO advice [6 June], we did see web visitors climb 20% on previous weeks,” Clark told TTG, adding the operator received “several enquiries” last weekend (15-16 June), including two from families keen to travel in August.
Of ETG’s 103 forward Sri Lanka bookings, 63 were still in place when the FCO changed its travel advice. “They are all keen to go ahead now,” Clark added.