Bath Travel launches ad campaign

Bath Travel has launched an advertising campaign to raise the profile of the retail chain after the decision was taken to scrap its Bournemouth-based sister tour operator Palmair.

Palmair gave up its single aircraft in October last year but is continuing to run the tour operation until April with seats on Thomson Airways flights.

The decision to ditch the tour operation was driven by the economy and increased competition from Ryanair. “We thought we’d bring it to a dignified end without upsetting anyone’s travel plans,” said joint managing director Stephen Bath.

The 69 retail offices across Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Isle of Wight, Somerset and Sussex are now concentrating on selling other
operators’ product.

“We have just launched a big press and TV campaign in the Bournemouth and Southampton area to let people know we’re still in business and Bath Travel is offering deals on holiday packages from other tour operators,” Bath added.

Astraeus Airlines announced this week it had “relunctantly” been forced to repossess Palmair’s single aircraft due to debt, but Bath said the operator had paid up until October when the lease was terminated.

He said: “We had planned since February 2010 that we would give up the aircraft on October 31, 2010, and this was agreed (with the airline).”
Sales this year have been good for the agency, Bath said, adding: “We are off to a flying start. This January has been stronger than last year. Cruise has grown 10% so we are confident for this year.”

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