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Wendy Wu Tours unveils new rewards and £1,000 incentive for agents

Wendy Wu Tours has unveiled two initiatives to support travel agents, offering them the chance to earn points towards a free holiday and to pitch for £1,000 to spend on joint marketing.

Wu Breakaways is the new rewards scheme for agents, replacing the Bamboo scheme next week, while Wendy’s Den is the name of the campaign offering cash to support three agencies to promote the escorted tour operator’s holidays.

Chief executive Glen Mintrim outlined the details on a Travel Weekly webcast, saying he hopes to raise awareness among agents of the operator’s new European tours as well as its traditional Asian offerings in China, Japan and Vietnam.

“Trade bookings are much, much lighter than they ever were before,” he said.

“Our volume is there, but it’s coming direct. So our direct customers are getting the message of what we’re doing. But the trade is still seeing us very much as Japan and China.”

Wu Breakaways will give points for 10 land-only tours – five in Europe and five in Asia – which can go towards a free trip or a trade-rate holiday.

“One passenger, one point – simple as that, it doesn’t matter where it is: Portugal, Scotland, China, Japan,” he said.

Wu Breakaways will give a point for every passenger booked and the scheme launches with a special triple-points offer, so agents can earn six points by booking a couple on any of Wendy Wu Tour during the launch offer period.

Points can be redeemed to travel for free, excluding international flights, on a selection of Wendy Wu Tours’ most popular holidays in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

With 10 Wu Breakaway points, an agent could travel for free to India, Vietnam or China; 15 points could get an agent to Jordan or Sri Lanka; and 20 points would earn free trips in Japan, Portugal or Uzbekistan.

Agents who don’t make bookings can still take advantage of trade rates and take a partner on a tour, he added.

Wendy’s Den is being offered via the operator’s regional business development managers, and there are four prizes of £1,000 to give to a winning agency for submitting the best marketing plans.

“An agent knows their customers better than anyone else in their community so why not give them the opportunity to get kickstarted?” he told the webcast.

Mintrim said the operator is looking at other ways to help agents with cash flow and encourage bookings.

“We’ve got to come out of this together,” he said.

“I want [agents] to still tap into high-end touring. EasyJet and all these cheaper holidays are great, and they’re focused on them because they’re going now – I also want them to be able to focus on the high-end stuff, and reward them quicker.”

He told the webcast how the operator had to develop its style of all-inclusive tours for European itineraries as the pandemic meant its traditional destinations in China, Japan and Vietnam were off-limits.

It started with tours in Scotland and has expanded to Portugal, Italy, Greece, Russia and the Baltics.

For the Travel Weekly Globe Travel Awards (March 15, 2022), it will highlight the historic links between Portugal and countries in the Far East such as Japan and India, to promote both the European and Asian aspects of its new portfolio, he added.

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