Former Collette head of new partnerships and new business Stephen Mills is looking to partner with tourist boards following his recent appointment to direct-sell operator Travel Department.

Mills worked at Collette from February 2018 until mid-March this year, when the US based escorted touring specialist announced it would be pulling out of the UK in 2020.

He started at Dublin-based escorted touring operator Travel Department on April 1 as head of new business.

His appointment comes as the company reveals plans to expand in 2020, with more departures out of Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted, as well as Bristol, Belfast and Scotland.

There are no current plans for Travel Department to work with travel agents although Mills will be looking to ramp up sales through partnerships with the media, consumer networks, closed member organisations, group travel organisers, affiliate partners and tourist boards.

He said: “We are looking to partner with tourist boards. I want to step up our UK marketing with brand partnerships.”