The Elite Travel Group is launching cruise, flight and accommodation-only booking options for consortium members. Speaking at the Elite conference in Bournemouth on Saturday, commercial manager Julie Franklin said Elite Airfares, Elite Hotels and Elite Cruise will be launched on December 1.
Elite Airfares will feature product supplied by consolidator JTA Travel Group, which has Elite chairman Wayne Darrock as its managing director, and will give agents net fares to which they can add their mark-ups. Elite Hotels will feature more than 10,000 properties worldwide, while Elite Cruise will feature product supplied by US ground-handling agent Turico.
Franklin said the launches will allow agents to organise more dynamic packages, protected under the Advantage ATOl licence, which will be in place for agents by Christmas. She also urged delegates to consider expanding their niche sales. “There needs to be more focus on specialist products. We need to be looking more at thing like the luxury, single, and over-55s market,” she said.
Meanwhile, commercial director Nigel Armitage predicted a 10% increase in sales for next year, although he warned the General Election and 2010 FIFA Football World Cup could dent sales. He believes further financial problems could emerge if Conservative wins the election as it addresses the paperwork left by the Labour government. “Conservative may well get the election but it is going to get a shock as the hidden debt of Labour shocks it.”
He also predicted Elite’s membership will increase by 20% as talks continue with potential members, although he refused to name names.
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