Sandals sees growth in UK business following launch of new tour operator

Sandals sees growth in UK business following launch of new tour operator

Sandals and Beaches Resorts’ UK trade business has increased an impressive 20 per cent, just a year since the launch of in-house tour operator, Unique Caribbean Holidays.

The company reported a significant increase in UK trade bookings and sales revenue over the past 12 months since it launched the tour operator side of the business to sell directly to the trade.

Over 30 per cent of all agent bookings from April 2017 to date have been made online via the trade booking engine, with many agents booking a Sandals or Beaches holiday for their clients for the first time.

Reflecting on the success of this year, Karl Thompson, managing director for Unique Caribbean Holidays, representing Sandals and Beaches Resorts, commented: “Securing the overwhelming support of our travel agency and airline partners this year during such a tumultuous period for the business was a huge success.

“They trusted us to deliver and we did so despite the challenge of launching a brand-new booking system alongside a new business.

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“Our business from the UK overall has grown, with trade business exceeding our expectations, and we are delighted that all of our tour operator partners contributed to this.

“We would like to thank everybody who continues to support us.”

Since its launch, UCHL has focused its efforts on improving its own booking portal and making this more user friendly for travel agents, by adding functionalities such as a flight and price availability calendar which will enable them to see prices on a monthly view.

In addition, travel agents will soon be able to book twin and multi-centre holidays on the trade website following an increase in demand.

Thompson added: “Both of these initiatives have taken a year to develop but will make a huge difference to agents and their ability to convert enquiries, and with the twin centres, secure an increasing popular choice of holiday.

“We will continue to improve our trade website, giving agents a tool that will increase their productivity with ever improving efficiency.”

The Caribbean resort specialist unveiled its fully protected UK tour operation under the name of Unique Caribbean Holidays on April 10th last year, taking bookings under its own ATOL.

A bespoke booking engine, created with travel technology provider Traveltek, was developed to allow travel agents to book flight-inclusive and accommodation-only packages online up to two years in advance with the operator.