The new parent company of National Holidays says it is already in talks with travel agents as it plans its first programme of UK coach tours for early 2021.
The National Holidays brand and database have been acquired for an undisclosed sum by an affiliate of the JG Travel Group, which owns touring brands including Just Go! Holidays and Omega Breaks.
National Holidays, sister brand of Shearings, went into administration as a result of the collapse of parent company Specialist Leisure Group in May.
JG Travel Group sales and marketing director Danny Crowe said National Holidays would be offering the same level of support to agents as it did previously and was in the process of contacting the operator’s key trade partners.
He said: “We are engaging with agents already and we have been in touch with some of the major agencies. We really want to support them. We will have point of sale material and brochures, the usual support functions. We want to support them because they will support us.”
He added the group planned to operate UK tours “early on” in 2021.
Crowe said the group already dealt with the trade but admitted this would represent a step up in comparison with how closely it has worked with agents in the past. At this stage there are no plans for any on-the-road representatives.
“We have used [agents] before as Just Go! but [we have] not been that strong with agents. We already work with consortia and we put someone in a trade role about six months ago to work with the trade,” he added.
Westoe Travel owner Graeme Brett, one of National Holidays’ key agent partners, welcomed the news the coach brand would be resurrected.
He said: “We’d be delighted to see the National Holidays brand come back especially at a time when so many customers are looking for staycations. We have lots of people asking if the brand will come back and who want brochures.”
The company plans to work with local coach firms to provide 48-seater buses for tours, which will not compete with any of its existing programmes. It will also look to contract hotels which previously featured in National Holidays’ programme and those owned by Shearings.
Crowe added: “As these hotels come back under new ownership we will engage them and use some of them. National Holidays operates on much bigger volumes and tours are lower cost while Just Go! Is more upmarket, cultural tours.”
The group will also look at whether it can replicate National Holidays’ family tour product, which included Disneyland Resort Paris and Harry Potter World in London, he added.
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