Trafalgar Tours has almost doubled its agency sales team as it launches its first Worldwide programme.

The trade-only escorted tour specialist’s new brochure contains 90 tours in North, Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand, China, Africa and Europe, while a further 30 are on offer online.

Until now the tour operator has been better known for its escorted tours in the UK, Ireland and Europe.

Sales director Paul Melinis said the operator is expanding its sales team from three to five staff to drive bookings for the new programme.

He said sales for next year were already 10% up, although it is hoped this figure will be doubled following the addition of the new staff.

He added: “We’ve always had this other product and over the past few years we’ve had more travel agents requesting it.

“With the brochures only going out now, we’re already 10% up, which is pretty good.”

Melinis said as well as the additional sales staff, the operator is increasing its marketing budget by up to 20%. The additional funds will be largely used for travel agent training with the rest earmarked to help marketing through agents’ own data-bases.

The operator has also relaunched its website trafalgartours.co.uk with new search and filter functions, while Google maps of the tours are being introduced. Further improvements mean the website should be fully bookable for the January peak period.

To further drive the new programme, Trafalgar is hiding five Golden Meal Tickets within the brochures it sends out to agents. Anyone finding a ticket will be able to exchange it for a night out, including a meal at a restaurant that serves food from one of the newly featured destinations.

Melinis said: “We’re now offering such a wide range of destinations that the winning agents will have a lot to choose from.”