Stella Travel Services needs to be more “upfront and open” about its portfolio of UK brands, according to UK managing director Andrew Laurie.

Speaking at an Institute of Travel and Toursm Odyssey Supper at the House of Commons, Laurie admitted the group had to work hard to improve awareness of its brands, which include Harvey World Travel, Travel 2/4 and Travelbag, in the UK.

He said: “Stella is still new. People have some insight into what we own but we are still not understood. Up until the ABTA convention last year, people not knowing [who we were] was beneficial but since then it’s been a lot more difficult. We need to be more open and upfront. We neglected it, initially intentionally.”

But the Stella name will not be a brand promoted on the high-street,  he added. “It is a holding company. We are not going to have Stella high-street agents or online buisnesses. Already a lot of energy has gone into promoting operating brands like Harvey World Travel and Travel 2/4.”

Laurie said the group was still a young company in the UK. “It is not fully developed by any stretch of the imagination when you look at the type of operation we have in Australia and New Zealand.”

Laurie said the most important issue for the group was partnerships with consumers, staff and suppliers.

He added: “Partnership as a concept is very important. We own companies and brands but in terms of assets we don’t and we have critical partnerships in the industry. We partner with agents and we want to be the global travel partner of choice.”