Ocean Holidays to ‘scale up’ package sales via travel agents

The Ocean Holidays Group is increase its sales of Florida package holidays via travel agents in the wake of the announcement about US borders re-opening to Brits in November.

The Florida specialist started selling packages via agents “very quietly” in summer 2020 with Ocean Florida Trade, said Harry Hastings, co-chief executive and co-founder.

He told a Travel Weekly webcast that the group’s Ocean Beds brand sold Florida villas to tour operators and online travel agents before the pandemic.

However, shortly after the US travel ban was imposed in March 2020, the team pivoted to selling packages through retail agents in July 2020.

“We signed up some of the consortia that Ocean Beds already works with, very quietly,” he said.

“We don’t have a web page; we have two business development managers and a Facebook group.”

The company also saw an opportunity in summer 2020 because US specialist Funway Holidays was exiting the market, he added.

“It has done phenomenally well,” he added.

“We’ve been really heartened and pleased with the response from the retail agents that have been working with us.”

He said the company planned to announce the new venture to the trade officially once they knew when the borders to the US were going to reopen.

“Here we are, less than 24 hours later, telling everybody that that we’re officially selling packages to the trade,” he told the webcast.

“We’re absolutely looking to scale it.”

Hastings said Ocean Holidays is one of the largest Florida specialists in the UK yet many clients booking via travel agents have not heard of or contacted Ocean Holidays, he added.

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