The Travel Up group is to launch new websites for three of its brands as it changes the model of its online travel agency Bookable Holidays to sell purely fully protected packages.
The moves come as the group beefs up its senior group management team with the appointment Steven Bresh, former head of aviation at Kuoni, as group head of commercial, replacing Gio Parla, and targets ‘moderate’ growth over the next year while it integrates its five brands under the parent company.
The group’s brands are: South America specialist Bravo Travel, Florida tour operators Magic Holidays and Holiday Genie, seat-only provider Travel Up and online agent Bookable Holidays.
The group is currently redeveloping the sites of its Travel Up – which drives the most revenue and passenger numbers for the group - Florida package tour operator brand Holiday Genie, acquired in December last year, and Bookableholidays.com, to make them more mobile-responsive.
Bookable Holidays will sell all holidays as fully protected packages at one inclusive price. Previously it sold a mix of protected and unprotected holidays.
The brand was bought by Travel Up after it went into administration last October. The group re-employed 15 former Bookable staff, including marketing director Craig Ashford, now head of group sales and marketing.
Ashford said: “My job is to raise awareness of the brands. The new sites will be fresher and easier to book. We have spent a lot of time on these and will do soft launches in the next few months.
“The main difference for Bookable will be that everything will be done under Travel Up’s Atol and will be fully protected. The new site will literally be holiday packages. Customers want protection – it’s that simple. The site was old and wasn’t mobile responsive.”
Ashford said the group was converting Magic Holidays into a premium operator to differentiate it from Holiday Genie.
The group also plans to open a flight-only operation out of Spain in the next two months, based in Madrid, with other similar operations set to launch in future out of other European countries.
He added the group was focused on creating strategic alliances – not necessarily with purely travel companies – but would continue to look at acquisition opportunities.
“We are continuously on the lookout to buy other businesses, if an opportunity comes along, but strategic alliances are the way we are moving forward,” he said.
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