Exoticca joins Atas as ‘perfect way’ to engage with agents

Escorted touring operator Exoticca has joined the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (Atas) to showcase its products to UK agents and capitalise on growing trade sales.

Headquartered in Barcelona, the premium mainstream touring specialist offers private and small group tours to more 60 destinations around the world.

Neil Sealy, UK & Ireland managing director, said: “As the core product is touring, joining Atas is the perfect way to engage more closely with travel agents who sell our product.”

Exoticca was established in 2013 and has been on sale in the UK since 2017. Sealy was appointed in April 2023 as the brand announced plans to work with the trade in the UK and Ireland.

“After successfully engaging with travel agents in North America and Spain, it was a logical next step to roll the brand out to travel agents in the UK,” said Sealy.

“Personally, I have always believed strongly in the value of travel agents, and as a company Exoticca shares this view.

“The company’s huge success with travel agents across North America and more recently Spain over the past couple of years has proven that the product is a good fit for agents, and early indications in the UK entirely support this belief, with January and February having been very encouraging months for trade bookings.

“Before the product even went on sale to UK agents, I had agents contacting me to say they had customers who wanted to book with us.”

More: Travellers will take 2024 holidays ‘no matter what’, experts predict

Exoticca credits trade for ‘encouraging start’ to UK sales

He added: “As Exoticca’s product is new to the UK trade, we have spent most of 2023 adapting our technology to work with the UK travel agent models.

“Plans for 2024 include making this booking technology even more user-friendly by including features like filters for baggage allowance and cabins on flights, and of course expanding our portfolio of destinations and experiences.

“We currently offer regular training webinars, in-person support at events, and marketing support for agents.

“In 2024 we will be looking to expand our trade sales team to offer agents across the country more face-to-face support and attendance at events, plus agent educational trips to showcase our product first-hand to agents.”

Globally, the business saw year-on-year sales growth of nearly 60% in 2023, and 2024 has started well, “with the added benefit of strong trade sales in the UK, which continues to grow rapidly”, he added.

“We are clearly seeing more families and a wider overall range of age groups choosing touring holidays,” he said.

“I believe experiential travel has become more important to travellers, with more people looking to immerse themselves in the history and culture of the region they are visiting.

“By joining Atas, we will be able to showcase our tours which offer incredible value and an easy booking process for agents, while giving them full price parity and guaranteed departures for their customers.”

Commenting on the wider UK market, he said: “While the UK travel industry is still defying the odds and showing strong growth, I do believe travellers are looking for better value, either by shortening the duration of their trips, taking fewer holidays, or perhaps choosing destinations and/or accommodation which offer ‘more for less’.

“Our product and pricing give them the perfect opportunity to explore fascinating destinations while achieving better value.

“We also offer different levels of accommodation and optional excursions on our tours, which allows travellers to tailor the trip to suit their budget, and also have control of how ‘busy’ the holiday will be.

“More people are researching their holidays online, and more people are looking for exotic adventures at better prices, so the key to growth in 2024 is simple – offer great product at a great price.”

Claire Brighton, Atas director, said: “It is great news that Exoticca is joining Atas to help raise its profile among the UK agency community.

“They are committed to helping agents make the most of this lucrative and growing sector and I look forward to working closely with them to showcase their range of tours.”

• Exoticca is set to host a series of one-hour webinars, from 3pm, with attendees qualifying for an exclusive discount code.

The first is on February 20, looking at the ‘Coastal Cities & Cultural Treasures’ of Portugal.

The second, on March 5, will feature the ‘Ancient Ruins, Mykonos, & Santorini’ then on April 9, agents will learn about the operator’s ‘Self-Guided Japanese Adventure’.

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.