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Elegant Resorts and If Only merge sales teams as Jon Hardcastle departs

Luxury sister tour operators Elegant Resorts and If Only have announced a new combined sales team alongside the departure of Jon Hardcastle (pictured below).

Hardcastle, head of sales for Elegant Resorts for over three years, will depart in October.

The restructure will see a joint on-the-road sales team created across both brands, owned by The Portman Travel Group, instead of two separate teams serving the trade.

Gemma Pinder-Davidson and Charlotte Brailsford, both previously head of sales for If Only, which was acquired by the group in November 2019, will take on expanded roles across If Only and Elegant Resorts.

Pinder-Davidson will become head of sales north and Brailsford will become head of sales south. The group said the shake-up would enable the group to “enhance” its trade support.

In a statement announcing Hardcastle’s departure, sales director Tracy Docherty said: “Since Jon joined Elegant Resorts over three years ago, we have gone through a period of unprecedented retailer growth, followed by an extremely challenging couple of years faced by the industry, and would like to thank Jon for everything he has achieved at Elegant Resorts during this time.

Jon-hardcastle

“Jon leaves the business with all our best wishes for the future and we wish him every success in his next role.”

As well as the new heads of sales roles across both brands, the group is to create two new sales development executive roles within the trade sales team.

One will support agents in the north west and the Midlands while the other will support agents in London and the south-east. The move will take the overall team to five across Elegant Resorts and If Only.

“By creating these changes we will enhance our commitment and support to agents currently booking with Elegant Resorts, whilst maintaining and growing the support we currently provide to agent partners booking If Only,” said Docherty

She added: “These appointments will improve our ability to provide a greater national reach to new and existing partners, whilst allowing us to capitalise on the tremendous opportunity for retailers and homeworkers to grow their luxury long-haul sales with both brands.”

The two new roles will be advertised immediately. If Only is based in Glasgow and Elegant Resorts is in Chester. Doherty added she was “confident and excited” about the future and taking the company to the “next level” of growth.

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