John Bevan, managing director of SpaFinder Europe, is looking at ways to work with UK travel agents to improve their knowledge and sales of spa breaks.
Bevan, former boss of Voyage Privé and lastminute.com, was appointed at the end of January to work on the SpaFinder Wellness brand, an online listing for thousands of spas worldwide.
It also lists fitness classes, such as pilates and yoga, and sells spa gift vouchers through 7,000 UK retailers, including supermarkets, as well as online.
Its US parent company already works with agents in the US and offers regular training webinars about its partners and their products.
Bevan wants to introduce a similar programme in the UK and is already in talks with one online travel agent interested in creating a spa section on its site, which SpaFinder could power on its behalf.
He is keen to explore all sales avenues, including giving high street agents the chance to sell gift vouchers, and to encourage them to use SpaFinder.
He said: “There is a real opportunity for agents who have clients who want to book hen days or spas, even if it’s a case of using our site as a reference guide.
“We are not obssessed with selling vouchers, we are more about generating leads.”Some agents may want to offer vouchers as an extra for top-spending clients or to motivate customers to book, he said.
“A luxury agent might want to throw in a £50 voucher, which we could sell to them at a discount, when a client buys an expensive holiday,” said Bevan.
He would also be prepared to pay commission for selling e-vouchers, which could be emailed to clients by SpaFinder. In the short term, Bevan said the company was working on radically improving its website and raising the brand’s UK profile.
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