Funway Holidays expects to enjoy record sales growth this year despite the end of its 10-year commercial partnership with Sandals.
The end of the deal coincides with an announcement by Sandals and Beaches Resorts that it is launching its own inhouse UK tour operation to the trade.
Funway has operated the ‘Sandals by Funway’ brand under its Atol licence since April 2007 and produced dedicated brochures for the Caribbean resort operator.
The dedicated brochures will no longer be produced but Sandals and Beaches resorts will now feature in Funway’s main Caribbean and Mexico programme, out at the end of this month.
Funway marketing director Nick Talbot said Funway would continue to have a close partnership with Sandals and Beaches.
He added: “Obviously this is a change in our relationship but as a business we are excited about the future.
“There is not going to be a significant impact on our business. We will not promote the Sandals by Funway brand but we have confirmed marketing with Sandals for the next three months and we will still sell their properties. We’ve had a very successful relationship with them for the last 10 years.”
Talbot said the company’s growth in recent years was testament to the success of its close strategic partnerships, particularly with tourist boards and airlines, and diversification of its product range in Mexico.
The company reported turnover of £39 million in 2011, and by last year, this had reached £85 million. The operator’s Mexico and Caribbean programme year to date is up 75% in terms of revenue, which follows the addition of 17 new destinations last year.
“We have had exponential growth and I expect 2017 to be a record year. We will continue to grow and look for new opportunities,” he said, adding that travel agents had also said in feedback that they would find it useful to have all Funway product in one consolidated brochure.
The company is now recruiting for a new sales director, following news Amanda Darrington is to leave, and will be expanding its marketing team.
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