Specialist TMC Diversity Travel has made a raft of appointments as it prepares to launch a new educational groups brand this summer.
Diversity specialises in travel for the charity, non-profit and NGO sectors, and has offices in London, Manchester and Washington.
The team now includes five former STA Travel staff – Ellen Rayner, who joined in January as groups director, plus Chris Sidebottom, head of groups, Katrina Malley, education development manager, Petra Albrecht, educational development executive, and Philip Cooke, study trips team manager.
In addition, commercial director Samantha Whittle, director of account management Jo Strange and Rebecca Diamond, vice-president account management, USA, have all joined the agency from rival educational travel specialist Key Travel.
On June 1, Jamie De Freitas will also join Diversity as vice-president for sales and account management.
Rayner said: “Following the collapse of STA Travel, who were a market leader in the academic travel sector, Diversity identified a huge gap in the market.
“This felt like the perfect opportunity to be bold and invest heavily in creating a groups offering like no other.”
Managing director Christopher Airey added: “Whilst travel has largely been postponed or suspended, a number of organisations are taking the time to review their travel programmes to be ready when restrictions are eased.
“We are seeing green shoots amongst our specialist sector clients, and how they manage their travel programmes has been very much under the magnifying glass.”
Diversity Travel plans to launch Diversity Study Trips this summer, but has yet to confirm a launch date.
STA Travel employed 500 staff across 49 agency outlets in the UK when it ceased trading last August.