Villa holiday specialist SPL Villas has sealed a distribution deal with the Advantage Travel Partnership as it seeks to sell its products via independent agents.
Managing director Edward Frampton-Fell told a Travel Weekly webcast that the company will be speaking to as many Advantage agents as possible – and is looking to work with other independent retailers.
He said SPL Villas’ sales and commercial manager Jane Pinfold attended the Advantage conference in Madeira last week, adding: “That was fantastic. She had the opportunity to chat to many different agents and partners. It was incredible for us to get some exposure there.”
Owned by Sandra and Peter Linnell, the company recently started to offer commission to the trade and has recruited a trade partnership manager.
It started with 300 villas in January 2021 and now features more than 900 rental properties across 100 destinations in Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey.
Frampton-Fell told the webcast that SPL Villas had begun as direct-sell as it only had a small range and too few resources to service agency enquiries.
But now it has tripled its offering – with plans to reach 2,000 properties by the end of this year – and added an agency portal to its site.
Trade partnership manager Ann Clays joined the company earlier this week, with trade experience gained from a similar role at Eurocamp.
“She comes on board to be the face of the trade. She’ll be getting out and distributing SPL Villas to as many travel agents as she possibly can,” said Frampton-Fell.
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Clays will also be promoting SPL Villas’ new training programme for agents, and a villa competition, which agents can enter by making bookings.
As well as commission, the company will be offering Love to Shop and Amazon vouchers for bookings.
“We’ve got some really good relationships with suppliers overseas and our ground team,” he told the webcast.
“They are really keen to get on board with the trade and see us promote their villas.”
Furthermore, the team can help agents find the right villa to suit their client.
“You can contact one of our team who will personally help you and tailor-make your villa holiday,” he said.
“We are still of a size where we can do that. We celebrate every enquiry, every booking…we’ll extend that to the trade as well.
“If [the agent] has got a customer who isn’t quite sure what they’re looking for, and the travel agent isn’t quite sure either, just get in touch and we’ll pick up the phone.
“You won’t have to wait in a long queue or anything like that to speak to us.”
The company recruited Frampton-Fell 18 months ago to build a team with travel industry expertise.
He has nearly 20 years of experience, with brands such as Saga Holidays, James Villas and Edge Retreats.
The team has works in a hybrid format with three days in the Kent office and two at home each week.
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