Clare Tobin has been appointed chief commercial officer for Olympic Holidays and pledged her commitment to the trade.
Tobin, who spent 17 years with Tui and First Choice in senior board positions, running the travel giant’s UK specialist and education businesses, vowed to continue to work closely with travel agents and improve the company’s “digital focus”.
She joins the 50-year-old tour operator on February 27 to run its commercial, operational and marketing activities and sit on the company’s board of directors. She returns to the sector after two years as chief operating officer of residential property specialist Leaders.
Chief executive George Michalias is to stay on in his role at Olympic but is expected to take up a non-executive board position in future. He said he was “delighted” with Tobin’s appointment.
Ahead of her arrival, Tobin outlined plans to develop Olympic Holidays as a specialist tour operator for the Mediterranean, not just Greece and Cyprus. The operator has expanded into the Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily for this year.
She said: “I’m looking forward to continuing to develop the Olympic Holidays’ brand as the Island specialist, not only in Greece and Cyprus, but across the whole Mediterranean and beyond.
“My focus will be on maintaining already high standards as well as driving a digital focus at every customer touchpoint and giving our customers the services they want.
“Olympic Holidays has recently invested significantly in its online and IT back-office platforms, and I’m looking forward to using these to leverage further commercial advantage in the challenging online market.”
She stressed the importance of travel agents as a distribution channel for the operator.
The operator has repositioned itself in the last 18 months to work closely and proactively with the trade. This has included revamping its branding and website and developing more coordinated online and offline marketing materials for agents.
“Olympic’s traditionally strong existing trade partnerships will continue to play an important role,” she said. “We are proud of our agent partners, our price parity commitment, as well as the marketing and training support we offer. An exciting future lies ahead for Olympic Holidays and our customers and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”
Tobin has a strong background in senior industry roles. She was managing director of Meon Villas in 2003 and later became managing director of Tui’s specialist businesses including Hayes & Jarvis, Austravel and Citalia, before being promoted to the role of managing director EMEA for Tui’s education division in 2012.