Kuoni UK says the number of jobs likely to be at risk of redundancy at its head office trade sales call centre will be in “single figures” as part of its planned restructure.

The tour operator has also confirmed its second summit for Kuoni’s travel agent partner stores, which was due to take place in Lake Garda, has been postponed.

A spokeswoman said: “We have taken the decision to postpone as our focus at the moment will be to make sure we get our reorganisation successfully up and running to ensure a seamless service for agents.  

“Going forward our aim is to bring partners even closer to the business, so we’re looking at other possibilities in terms of meetings, conferences and educationals and we’ll be talking to partners about our plans.”

The changes follow proposals for a “hub service” – effectively a smaller call centre team dedicated to looking after agent partner stores and key accounts – to be set up at Kuoni’s Dorking head office.

Telephone calls from all other agents, which until now have also been serviced by the trade sales team in Dorking, will instead be routed to staff at Kuoni’s own high-street stores. This has already been the case for some ‘over-spill’ calls in the past.

The operator admitted the call centre has struggled at times to cope with calls from these agents to provide them with a “top-notch service” in the past.

The restructure comes as Helen Roberts is promoted to the new role of sales director, responsible for sales across all trade and direct channels. A new national sales manager is due to be appointed to develop the operator’s agent relationships.

Roberts’ appointment follows the recent departure of head of trade sales Amanda Darrington, who left Kuoni in January to join Funway Holidays after seven years and was central to growing the tour operator’s agent partnership programme.

Roberts has worked for Kuoni for 12 years and spent several years working in trade sales before her most recent role as head of direct sales, leading the development and implementation of the company’s own network of stores.