Not Just Travel creates key partner programme for suppliers

Not Just Travel has introduced a programme to offer additional support to suppliers who sign up as “key trade partners”.

The franchise specialist said nearly 40 suppliers had signed up to its Key Trade Partner Programme so far, with “collaborative plans” drawn up to increase agents’ product knowledge and improve access.

The company said the approach was introduced in response to its rapid growth and followed a strategic review of the business during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It also said it would be recruiting new senior management and bolstering its trade teams as it confirmed chief of staff Cherie Richards would be leaving to pursue “a fresh challenge within the industry”.

Co-founder Paul Harrison said the Key Trade Partner Programme was formed after the strategic review identified supplier partnerships as an area for improvement.

He said: “Working with hundreds of trade partners can get confusing and overwhelming for our members, especially if there is not a coherent strategic plan in place.

“We would see trade partners tussling to get access to our members and having limited access via ourselves throughout the year. It had to stop.

“Our Key Trade Partner Programme allows us to work in partnership with a supplier, create a collaborative plan of action together and give the supplier 24/7 access to our homeworkers.

“Our relationship is much more strategic and focuses on sales and marketing and achieving sales for all parties; namely our homeworkers, our key trade partner and Not Just Travel.”

He added: “Our travel consultants still have full access to an unlimited number of brands, but the Key Trade Partner Programme allows us to focus time, effort, training and support with these operators.

“It’s a two-way commitment from operators and NJT. We each commit to working with our travel consultants to give them better insight, better product knowledge, better opportunities. In return our travel consultants sell more of these products as you naturally sell more of what you are confident and knowledgeable about.”

Harrison said Not Just Travel would offer partners support with agent training and said the feedback from the nearly 40 suppliers who had signed up so far had been “overwhelming”.

He also said the company’s trade team would be bolstered, and added: “We were determined to not just survive the pandemic but create an improved ‘new normal’ as travel returns.

“There have been huge strides made in every part of our business and our commitment to headhunt new senior management talent with new skills and experience will only add to the excellent corporate team we have in place already.”

Fellow co-founder Steve Witt said the company was in a “wonderful position” as it emerged from the pandemic, and paid tribute to Richards’ role in the evolution of the business since joining as chief business development officer in June 2020.

He said: “Cherie has been one of our brightest assets in the darkest of times. She has been brilliant throughout the pandemic, both on the trade and operational side of the business.

“Cherie took us through a difficult period of transition, which has now left us in a wonderful position post-pandemic, with sales booming and the team expanding. We are growing at a rapid pace and with that comes a whole new structure and team.

“As a result, it is a natural time for Cherie to bring her energy and skills to a fresh challenge within the industry and we wish her all the best for the future.”

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