Saga Holidays has announced that Joe Sutcliffe has been appointed head of long haul for product and purchasing.

He replaces Stuart Douglass Lee, who will be retiring after nearly 35 years in the travel industry.

Sutcliffe joins Saga from Wendy Wu Tours where he was deputy managing director and commercial director and will be responsible for all of Saga Holidays’ long-haul product as the company expands its product range.

Mark Woodcock, product and purchasing director for Saga Holidays said: “Joe joins at an exciting time for Saga Holidays with our ambitious plans to grow and expand.

“I am delighted Joe will be joining us, and will be bringing with him a wealth of product knowledge. He will be joining a team of incredibly talented individuals who help set apart Saga Holidays with their incredible knowledge and enthusiasm for the destinations they look after”.

Sutcliffe added: “I’m thrilled to be joining Saga Holidays, it’s a brand I have long admired and I am confident I can make a real difference and help drive the growth of their long-haul programme. I cannot wait to get my teeth into putting together some fantastic new itineraries for customers. I’m passionate about travel and service and am really looking forward to building on the expertise of the team and the wonderful range of products they have created”.

Prior to his role at Wendy Wu Tours, Sutcliffe was product manager for Africa and Asia with STA Travel and went on to join Bridge the World as head of product and marketing when STA Travel acquired the brand name, helping to relaunch it into the UK market.