Caribtours and Private Travel Company boss Paul Cleary has urged the agent community to have long memories and remember the operators that have always supported them.


Speaking at the operator’s awards dinner at Claridges he gave a heartfelt plea to the 180 gathered agents to reward loyalty with loyalty.


He added: “I know our competition is all over you like a rash and so they should be.


“I’m not one to beg but I will if you want me to I will – just think about whether or not you have always had this service from these operators.


“I can see that it is alluring when you are offered £500 vouchers for £1000 bookings but they are desperate – we have always prided ourselves on being financially strong and prudent.


“We never fell out with you and have always loved you so we don’t need to make it up to you.”


He expressed hope that Caribitours’ consistency was a virtue that would be recognised and promised to change absolutely nothing about the way they work.


“We considered how to respond to tough economic times and the desperate competition and decided not to.


“We have a very clear vision of why you trust us and we will continue to have the best staff, the best service and be available all hours.


“We make mistakes now and then of course but when we do we ‘fess up, put one hand in the air and put the other in our pocket to sort it out.


“And unlike many competitors we didn’t discover agents were handy when the going got tough.”


He admitted that the operator had not been as price competitive as some agents would have liked at times but countered this with the desire to ensure that both they and the agent make good profits on each booking.


Agents make up 90% of the two brands’ business and while revenue for the last year has been slightly down Cleary revealed that profits were slightly up.


He also revealed The Private Travel Company had £1m extra business in the last year – 100% of which was from the trade.