Boating specialist Le Boat is courting the trade as agents look for domestic holidays to sell clients in the current climate.

The Travelopia-owned tour operator says its self-drive boating holidays across the UK and Europe offer the ideal product for “socially distanced holidays” this summer.

It is keen to tap into increased demand for domestic holidays for agents to sell this summer as uncertainty continues over sales of overseas breaks.

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Managing director Cheryl Brown said: “We just want to remind agents we are here and not to forget about us.

“We have been dying to work with agents for years. We understand we will never be at the top of agents’ priority list but it may be a different story now the industry is changing dramatically and agents are clearly crying out for more domestic product.


“We can offer an alternative holiday that clients may be interested in.”

The company has just under 1,000 boats which range from one star to five star and can accommodate from two to 12 people. All boats are designed for use by people with no boating experience.

Overall, around 36% of Le Boat’s sales come from agents but mainly from the German market, with Tui in Germany the operator’s biggest client.

Currently in the UK, the operator tends to get “one off” sales from agents or bookings from those that specialise in the boating market. “We have got hundreds of agents that make one off bookings with us each year but it tends to be customer driven or specialist agents,” she added.

Although commission varies depending on agents’ sales, the operator offers a basic commission of 10% and through Travelopia has agreements in place with independent consortia and agency groups.

Canal boat holidays and cruises are offered by the operator across England, Scotland, Ireland, France and Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Belgium as well as in Canada.

The company has also announced it is rolling out additional health and safety measures under its ‘Covid Safety Charter’.

This includes supplying pre-departure information digitally, giving safety videos in advance, stepping up the cleaning of Le Boat’s bases and boats, Perspex screens at receptions, and providing hand sanitiser while only one person will be required at check-in and customers will be responsible with bagging personal rubbish and stripping beds.

Trips can also be rescheduled under its ‘Go Boating with Confidence’ flexible booking policy.

Brown said: “We recognised that we needed to evolve our current operations to make sure that we have taken every precaution to afford our customers an even safer and healthier holiday experience with us.”

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