Former Tauck UK and Ireland country manager Ray Steward has been taken on by premium touring specialist Collette following a restructure of its business development team.

He joins Collette in the newly created position of head of sales, reporting to managing director Carl Burrows. 

Steward will oversee and manage all sales functions throughout the business.

His responsibilities include the operator’s UK call centre and regional business development managers. Two other new appointments are also in the pipeline.

Steward previously headed the set up of Tauck in the UK in addition to previous experience at Crystal Cruises and Western & Oriental Travel.

Burrows said: “His wealth of experience in the specialist touring marketing will really strengthen the senior management team we have in place.

“His focus will enable us to drive the business development team, providing the best in class support for our valued travel agents.

“We’ve made it no secret that our trade partners are vitally important to the continued growth plans for Collette in the UK.

“We have already embarked on a number of initiatives, such as a re-positioning our brochures and marketing collateral to strengthen our position as the leading premium operator in the market sector.”

Steward added: “I am delighted to be bringing my experience to Collette at such an exciting time for the business. 

“The Collette brand has a long affiliation with UK travel agents and is hugely trade focused, with the vast majority of our business coming through our trade partners.

“I am looking forward to working closely with our agents over the coming months supporting our ongoing commitment to provide our agency partners with the best possible service and support.

“With this in mind, we are looking to recruit a new business development manager to cover the north of England, in addition to a new office-based internal sales manager.”