Former Tui head to lead Villarenters’ trade push

Teletext Holidays villa specialist Villarenters is to work through the trade for the first time as part of an aggressive growth strategy.

The move comes after the firm took on Alex Stuart, former Tui Travel head of commercial, to forge distribution relationships with agents.

Only properties that have had the necessary health and safety checks will be made available, of the 13,000 villas on its site, to give agents peace of mind when creating trips.

Stuart, who formerly held a head of commercial role with James Villas, has been brought in to help develop ancillary sales as well as increase distribution relationships with the travel trade.

James Marchant, general manager of Villarenters, said: “We are currently formulating our strategy for how we work with the trade. We need to have the confidence that all necessary checks have been done and we want to work with [property] agents that can provide instant confirmation.”

Currently around 25% of Villarenters’ product is available on instant confirmation and this is rising as owners and agents are given new technology to manage their availability. Marchant said modern technology was making villas as easy to book as hotel rooms and opening up a popular and potentially lucrative area for agents.

Stuart said: “We’re confident we’re leading the way in offering our customers an enjoyable and simplified booking process. We’re making the process easy, with thousands of customer reviews and photos, transparent pricing and instant confirmation.

“Our aim, quite simply, is to ensure this is as easy as booking an hotel, offering a ‘one stop shop’ for all your holiday requirements.”

A first partnership has been struck to sell ancillary products with Affordable Car Hire for car rental. Others are being sought in the flights and travel insurance sectors.

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