Bookings for 2011 through Advantage Travel Centres agents are running 3% ahead of the equivalent period last year, the consortium has disclosed.


Chief executive John McEwan described this as indicating “reasonable market growth” for next year.


He was speaking at a meeting for more than 40 business suppliers as Advantage outlined plans for 2011.


He gave a message of “steady growth”, with the independent agency group now working with 150 preferred business partners.


The Advantage Managed Services scheme, specialist luxury and cruise marketing initiatives and promotion of the group’s financial services portfolio are all focuses for 2011, as is the new Travel Gateway selling platform which is being piloted within 70 Advantage member shops.


More than 140 new Advantage outlets have been added over the last 18 months with an average of £3 billion annual gross turnover across all members.


Advantage has signed sales agreements with more than 40 independent suppliers over the last four years. 


Red Sea Holidays, Villa Parade, You Travel, Ski France and Dream Holidays are amongst the suppliers which have joined more established names like Silversea Cruises, Sunvil and Premier Holidays.


Premier Holidays managing director Susan Papworth said: “I’m really encouraged by the plans for its Travel Gateway and days like this, where information is shared about how we can all work better together, can only be a good thing.”
 
Atlantic Holidays sales and marketing manager Dino Toouli added: “A small independent company like Atlantic Holidays relies on independent agents with presence on the high street, such as Advantage, to reach a wider audience.


“By targeting the right specialist agent within the consortium it can do wonders, 30% of our holidays this year were sold by one Advantage agent alone.”