The job of Gold Medal and Travel2 is “to make travel agents look brilliant”, according to boss Lisa McAuley.

Speaking at a dnata Travel UK dinner, she said: “There are numerous articles about consumers coming back to agents because of the digital labyrinth out there. There is this big thing about trust – people go to their trusted hairdresser or their trusted accountant. They now want a trusted travel advisor too, so my job with both our brands is to make the agents look brilliant to their customers, so they are trusted.”

McAuley claimed that between Travel2 and Gold Medal, she had between 65% and 70% of the UK long-haul market, and is absolutely set on going for the remaining 30-35 per cent.

She said cruise sales through Travel2’s Cruise Plus brand were flying.

“We are seeing week-on-week double-digit growth in cruise. It’s an absolute success story for us.

“Cruise lines are weak at air, while we have exceptional airline contacts and fares. They are also not good at pre and post cruise. Travel2 does the pre and post cruise, and the cruise and stay bit really well,” she said.

McAuley added: “I’m immensely proud of the relationships we have between our reservation staff and agents. We have digital platforms but fundamentally it’s the strength of those relationships, that one-to-one service that we offer to the trade, that drives our success.”