EasyJet holidays is planning to recruit “two or three” more trade distribution managers to support more activities for agents, including a ‘Big Juicy Fam’.
The operator has seen “a number of record-breaking sales days” this month, with trade sales accounting for their biggest share yet of overall performance.
Natasha Marson, head of trade distribution, could not reveal details of the fam trip but said: “We’re about to start ramping up our communication on that. We’ve got a great concept. It’s very creative.”
Agents who make bookings in January and February are automatically entered into a draw to win one of 20 places available.
The fam is one of a range of peaks perks. Others include a £5 booking incentive, daily prizes such as Samsung soundbars, Amazon Echo devices and shopping and holiday vouchers, plus a weekly holiday prize.
The trade distribution team has been delivering ‘Orange Aid’ goodie bags to agencies, packed with sweet treats.
It currently works with more than 5,000 agents and Marson said: “That’s only going to get bigger and better.”
The trade support team has expanded from two a year ago to five and Marson aims to add two or three trade distribution managers to the current four: Adrian Marpole, John Docherty, Dom Carrick and Gemma Hussey, who was recently promoted from its customer team.
“We want more face-to-face activity with agents in branches, shops and contact centres,” said Marson. “We want to look after homeworkers as well.”
The trade support manager is Sarah Moore, and she works with trade distribution executives Alice Prendergast, Paula Bottle and Karen Zweck.
Marson joined the company three days before Christmas, having moved from Hays Travel, with previous tour operator experience gleaned from Thomas Cook and Tui.
“I’ve hitting the ground running in peaks. It’s the best time to start,” she said.
“We’ve got a great 2024 programme of activities lined up, with lots of opportunities for the trade.”
Marson thanked agents for their “incredible” peaks performance, and said bookings were “very strong” for May to July. Spain accounts for a quarter of summer beach sales and Amsterdam is the top city break. Families account for more than a third of beach bookings.
Further trade plans include improvements to the trade portal, more training, Team Orange On Tour events and a new “spin” for its second Big Orange Party.
EasyJet holidays hosted about 170 agents last September at its inaugural ‘Big Orange Party’ in Warwickshire.
Marson also noted how January’s pay day is “looming”, adding: “This weekend is going to be another bumper sales weekend for all of the trade. The distribution managers are out there pounding the streets.
“I predict there will be a big lates market, a second peaks, as not everybody has committed to spending yet.”
Summer 2025 holidays are also on sale now, many with free child places on offer.
Furthermore, Marson highlighted the company’s sustainability credentials, with the operator developing longer duration holidays over shoulder seasons, to support destinations outside peak times, and a pilot scheme using AI to monitor the reduction of food waste in hotels.
The operator has also joined forces with the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to develop the first environmental, social, and governance (ESG) framework tailored for businesses in the tourism industry.
EasyJet holidays’ annual pre-tax profits grew 221% to £122 million in the year to September 30. The figure contributed to easyJet delivering a profit of £455 million for the 12 months on the back of a record summer.
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