The boss of Millington Travel said his decision to jump ship from Elite to Worldchoice was “nothing personal”.
Nigel Armitage said the decision, made with fellow director Nick Bland, to switch consortia was based on Worldchoice’s technology, marketing and business support, and the management’s “passion and attitude”.
The nine-branch East Midlands-based chain joined Elite in 1994 and was one of its largest members. It plans to open a 10th store in November.
Millington will join Worldchoice, part of The Travel Network Group, on October 1. It is undergoing a management restructure, with two roles being created to oversee shop operations and sales.
Speaking exclusively to Travel Weekly, Armitage said he had considered joining Advantage and stressed the decision was not related to Worldchoice’s commercial deals with suppliers.
He said: “When you make a big decision, no matter how you say it, people get upset. This wasn’t a rash decision, and Elite is a little shell-shocked, but it’s nothing personal.
“We have changed as a business and need someone to bounce ideas off. We need more technology and marketing, and a plan of action with a growth strategy. This is about business support, not the best commercials in the market.”
The Travel Network Group will help Millington Travel produce a marketing plan and review its website, said Armitage.
He added that its financially protected dynamic packaging systems for cruise and holidays were also attractive, particularly after Lowcostbeds’ failure.
Neil Basnett, chief executive of Elite, which is affiliated to Advantage, said he “fully respected” Millington’s decision.
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