Egypt specialist Red Sea Holidays plans to take up to 100 agents on fam trips as it expands into the Canary Islands.
The addition of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote follows rapid growth of the operator’s portfolio over the past two years and “a difficult 12 months” for its core destination of Egypt, according to deputy managing director Jason Hilton.
Tunisia was added for summer 2015, but went off sale within weeks following the massacre of 31 tourists in June. Greece and Turkey were new for this summer, while Hilton revealed Malta, Cyprus and the Balearics are planned additions for summer 2017.
Red Sea Holidays will host fam trips to the Canaries for between 80 and 100 agents, in groups of up to 10, from November.
Hilton stressed the expansion was part of a planned strategy to offer a range of year-round destinations, rather than in response to a downturn in sales to Sharm el-Sheikh – traditionally 50% of the operator’s sales – since November last year or a move to offer more destinations perceived as “safe” from terrorism.
Hilton added: “We started planning this 18 months ago. We assumed Sharm would be back on sale by now. Egypt will always be core, but our plan was to replicate what the wider group is doing.”
Red Sea’s sister operator in Germany already offers the Canaries and has contracting arrangements in place. Red Sea is offering self-catering units and three to five-star properties.
Destinations are on sale online and a brochure is due to be released in December.
Hilton is hopeful travel advice for Sharm will change soon, but said Hurghada “was ticking over nicely” while EgyptAir’s decision to restart direct flights from Heathrow to Luxor from October 3 would boost Nile cruise sales.
Agents interested in fam trips should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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