Tony Byrne is to join tour operator Typically Italian, run by Abta board director and travel agent Daniele Broccoli.
Byrne, who until recently was national sales manager at Great Rail Journeys, will be taking on a newly-created trade support role at the operator, with a focus on drumming up support in the north of England. He starts on July 1.
Although he has no official job title, he effectively becomes the trade-only operator’s northern sales executive as it tries to raise awareness among agents of its tailor-made programme. As well as Italy, the operator has also launched a Typically Spain programme for 2015.
“I have great respect for Daniele and this gives me an opportunity to do something I wanted to do – to join a smaller company and make a difference,” said Byrne, who is well-known in the trade and previously worked for companies including Titan Tours and Cosmos Tourama.
“For the last 25 years I have always been with operators which have a direct-sell brand so working just with the trade will be fantastic.”
Byrne joins a ten-strong team in Peterborough but will spend most of his time out on the road.
His first couple of days will be spent in Italy, learning to cook pasta from a professional chef.
Broccoli, Typically Italian managing director, said as well as learning about the product, Byrne would be using the skills he learns to cook for travel agents at a series of planned trade roadshows.
A competition is also being launched to celebrate Byrne’s appointment which will involve three agents winning a chance to have a professional chef, flown over especially from Italy, perform a cooking demonstration in their travel agency and cook them a meal in their home for four people.
Any agents who book one of the operator’s holidays in July or August will be entered into a hat and three winners chosen at random.
Broccoli, who also runs Britaly Travel agency from the same offices, added: “We want to do this as a celebration of Tony joining us. We will be leaning on Tony for his experience and knowledge; he has a good track record.”
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