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Collette appoints Fred Olsen Travel as UK GSA

Collette has appointed Fred Olsen Travel as its general sales agent  – nearly five months after it closed its UK office.

Suffolk-based Fred Olsen Travel will market and sell Collette’s global product and take reservations from customers and travel agencies.

From September 1, calls and enquiries via the website of the US-based tour operator will be directed to Fred Olsen Travel.

A new UK brochure will be released via Fred Olsen Travel in September.

Collette UK’s former managing director Carl Burrows and head of marketing Michelle Laverick left the escorted touring specialist in May last year before it stopped take bookings from UK agents at the end of April this year.

Staff left their roles on March 8 this year as the office was shut down.

At the time, Collette said the decision had been made to focus on its expanding operations in the US.

Explaining the decision to appoint a GSA, Dan Sullivan Jr, Collette’s chief executive, said: “We identified the opportunity to appoint Fred Olsen Travel to support our previously stated goal of streamlining our global operation.

“This agreement is a perfect alignment of two leading providers who share similar values and ideas in the travel space.”

Fred Olsen Travel’s managing director, Steve Williams, said: “The brand is very strong and well established and we are looking forward to working with existing and new trade partners to build sales in the UK.”

Fred Olsen Travel plans to expand its field sales team to include regional sales managers in the north and south of the UK.

Collette, which claims to be the longest-running tour operator in North America, has operated for more than 100 years and offers trips to every continent.

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