Caledonian Travel and court trade under new owners

Caledonian Travel and have pledged to work closely with agents who understand the UK short breaks market under their new owners.

The relaunched brands are part of new start-up Caledonian Leisure, which also owns the websites, social media sites and customer databases of the Scottish coach specialist and UK short breaks operator after acquiring them earlier this month from the administrators.

The deal, by former senior management of coach brands Caledonian Travel and National Holidays, followed the demise of parent company Specialist Leisure Group in May.

Martin Lock, commercial director of Caledonian Leisure and former commercial manager of National Holidays, said an agent website portal was already under development and talks with agents had begun.

He said: “We are planning to operate from the north-east and Yorkshire as well as the west of Scotland so we will be much bigger [than the former Caledonian Travel] and we want to work with trade partners.

“We will not have a massive team on the road but we want to work closely with those agents who understand our niche and understand UK short breaks.

“We are open to discussions with anyone at the moment where we can create mutually beneficial relationships.”

Commission will be decided on a “case by case” basis. “What we are about is driving large volume sales for agents; its crucial we work closely with agents,” he added.

Lock said the company was also looking to offer more event packages in future and rail packages for self-drive brand

He said: “We are looking to develop more special event packages and sporting event breaks and other new products. It has been a really tough time but we see great potential. We were running a very profitable business before the parent company (SLG) collapsed.”

The company is currently looking at different operating models for its coach fleet, including using third-party liveried coaches, but no date has been set for the start of tours.

“We want to do it when it’s totally safe and the sentiment is there,” said Locke. “We are taking our time to make sure our foundations are there and everything is in place first.”

The company is also in the process of recruiting staff, including former Caledonian employees.


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