Prestige Holidays has changed its name to Prestige Travel, adopted a fresh logo and further increased its commitment to the trade under a new managing director.
The operator is also overhauling its website and travel agency portal as part of a wholesale review of the business under new owners Embrace Travel Group.
Lee Hamilton was promoted to managing director on March 1 this year after seven years as general sales manager at the tour operator. Previous managing director and chairman John Dixon retired after the operator was acquired last July.
The new name and look follows research by branding agency Fathom, which identified Prestige Travel as a “better fit” as it looks to expand the tailormade and bespoke travel side of its business.
The operator has dropped its burgundy red logo for new look featuring a modern font with a shell on a white, green or ocean coloured background to make it easily recognisable across social media and promotional materials.
Hamilton said: “It’s the perfect time to make changes, with new owners and more than 30 years selling holidays. We felt it was important to review both the look of Prestige and what it stood for.
“The name encompasses more of what we do in terms of the specialist and tailormade itineraries. It was important we created a modern and memorable visual identity to support our new brand story.”
The operator also aims to attract more agent partners. Agents already account for around 96% of sales.
Hamilton said: “We are looking to engage with those agents that are not yet familiar with the Prestige brand through the support of our business development team, enhancing the booking experience and offering our usual competitive commission rates.”
As part of this, the operator’s website is undergoing a major revamp to make it quicker and easier to use. It will feature an improved agent hub for booking, invoicing and amending holidays. The current holding site is prestigetravel.co.uk
Hamilton said call wait times had reduced and were now more reasonable than earlier this year but stressed the new site would enable agents to amend or cancel bookings themselves.
“We love talking to our agents, but we also appreciate the desire to ‘self-service’ bookings sometimes, so this will now be an option for them,” he said, adding: “Everything we do is to enhance the experience for partners. Agents could book online before but it was quite restrictive; multi-centres were more difficult to book.”
As part of the operator’s enhanced commitment to the trade, it will produce new agent incentives and add more competitions and trade-specific deals to its social channels. It already has a closed user group on Facebook for the trade.
The operator’s on-the-road team has been boosted with the appointment of two new business development managers to visit agents. Charlotte Sargeson, who has joined from Flexible Autos, will be responsible for the north of England, while Denise Bridgeman, ex-Air Canada, will look after the southern region. A third is due to be appointed in the coming week.
Hamilton said agents had continued to support the brand during the pandemic, adding: “We want our business to grow and prosper and we’re confident the investments we have made, together with the ongoing support of our trade partners, will provide us with the solid foundations to succeed in the new travel arena.”
The operator also announced plans to put more emphasis on tailormade breaks to destinations such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Italy, the Canaries and Croatia to offer a different product to operators selling just traditional packages.
“You have to start carving out more of a niche and that’s what we are looking to do. We will still sell great value point to point holidays but we will able to access small, boutique or luxury properties and expand on our multi-centre offerings,” he added.
The operator also plans to expand its product range, with additions to include new long-haul destinations.
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