Closer liaison between the luxury brands within The Travel Corporation portfolio will simplify and enhance relationships with trade partners, according to the executive overseeing them.
Uniworld UK managing director Chris Townson also now oversees Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold and Red Carnation Hotel Collection, and said there were clear benefits of teams working together.
Speaking on a Travel Weekly webcast, Townson said the brands would fall under the “trade umbrella brand” The Velvet Collection in a new structure introduced following the the departure of Rachel Coffey as sales and business development director for Trafalgar, Costsaver Tours, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold.
Townson’s colleague Donna Jeavons has taken the reins of Trafalgar and Costsaver Tours in the UK and Ireland after Coffey’s departure.
Townson said The Velvet Collection would not be pushed as a front-facing consumer brand, but would allow a central point of focus for the luxury operators and allow less fragmented communications with agency partners.
He said: “The luxury customer is going through all these brands (Uniworld, Insight and Luxury Gold), and also Red Carnation Hotels as well.
“So it just made sense to pull all the brands in terms of luxury, so we can have one conversation with an agent partner across all the brands.”
He added: “Our crossover between Uniworld and Red Carnation is already significant, so there’s been cross communication on the products previously. There’s a real synergy between those two.
“From an Insight [Vacations] and Luxury Gold point of view, again, it’s just linking those dots with our [agents] partners to actually bring that to the table. That has been really interesting.”
Townson said: “From a reservations point of view, we were already cross-trained, and had crossover of the brands anyway in terms of touring and cruise. What we’ve just done is pull luxury cruise and luxury tours together.”
Townson also outlined how his sales team offered “a full support pack” to agents who sold products that fell within The Velvet Collection’s portfolio.
“We’ve got brand new brochures, digital brochures that are fully white labelled pieces,” he said. “We supply all that to our partners. Within these brochures, we’ve produced specific UK content and also video.
“Whether that a two-minute video for Insight or a 10-minute video on ‘where next with Uniworld?’ We’ve got all these videos embedded in there. It’s specific for our market.”