Two new initiatives have been created by Sovereign Luxury Travel and Citalia to give reassurance to agents and consumers in a bid to stimulate the market as desire for booking holidays returns.

The Travelopia brands are highlighting ‘Travel with Confidence’ and ‘Book with Confidence’ as key messages.

The move comes alongside an expansion by Sovereign which sees Thailand added and an enhanced Caribbean and Indian Ocean portfolio with nine new destinations and 64 new properties. The Dominican Republic, Antigua, Barbados, St Lucia and Jamaica have been added together with an increased range of islands and resorts in the Maldives, Mauritius and the Seychelles.

Citalia has also created a new website featuring holiday inspiration assistance through a built in ‘holiday finder’ allowing users to browse via experience, date and destination and with a date/price comparison facility.

Five elements make up the ‘Travel with Confidence’ message, based on the entrenched values of the brands, highlighting key principles and processes to provide “ultimate reassurance” for agents and their customers.

They are:

Experts – Abta and Atol bonded and with experience in booking holidays for 45 years, offering 24/7 concierge service for ultimate peace of mind

Destination Knowledge – ensuring staff destination knowledge is paramount so that all agent and customer questions can be answered and resolved

Trusted Partners – working with partners that have customer safety and wellbeing at their core

Privacy Options – offering a range of private villas/apartments with access to resort facilities and in- room dining to allow for a more secluded holiday experience away from the crowds. Sovereign holidays also include private transfers as standard and airport lounge access.

Health and Safety – encouraging high standards through trusted partners with robust health and safety audits in place.

‘Book with Confidence’ is a package of flexibility and incentives aimed at the consumer including:

–  Deposits reduced to £100 per person for holidays with scheduled flights
–  Holidays based on low-cost flights incur a deposit of £100pp plus the flight cost
–  Administration fees are now free up to and including three changes
–  Cancellation is free up to ten weeks before departure

Head of trade partnerships Simon Garrido said: “Both of our confidence initiatives are about reassurance. We want our trade partners and clients to feel comfortable as they ease back into planning and booking holidays.

“At this critical time it’s important to give agents everything they need to secure bookings – which means maximum flexibility, reduced financial commitment for clients and booking with a tour operator that offers an extra level of reassurance and trust.

“Hence the reiteration of our 24/7 concierge, robust health and safety audits in resort and privacy options. We know this is what agents and our clients have come to expect from Sovereign and Citalia.

“We are grateful to all our trade partners and thank them for their ongoing support at this challenging time. Our strategy is to work with the trade to rebuild business whilst being agile enough to reflect government and FCO advice.”

He added: “Our portfolio is well suited to the current climate, with many people looking to Europe before travelling further afield. Many of our European resorts have private villas and we have a wonderful selection of stunning, and individual, apartments throughout Italy.

“At the same time, it’s very positive to be announcing Sovereign’s expansion in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean and launching Thailand.

“It reflects our confidence in the long-haul sector and is a natural extension of our resort offering in Europe. Sovereign is known for luxury and personal service, attracting a high percentage of repeat business.

“This will give agents a broader range of destinations and properties and is obviously very appealing for the wedding, honeymoon and special occasion market. We believe there will be a great deal of pent-up demand for this type of holiday in 2021.”

Sovereign is offering a £150pp discount for bookings made before July 31 for departures between November 2020 to October 2021.

A similar early booking discount from Citalia covers departures between April to October 2021.

issue18june