Kuoni targets families with new Neilson tie-up

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Kuoni is targeting the family market through a new partnership with Neilson Holidays as part of a drive to work with more companies.

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Mark Duguid, vice-president of commercial and product, said the announcement comes as the operator seeks to create customers for life, not just special occasions.

He added that the deal would mean Neilson’s full range of 14 Greek and Turkish beach club holidays will be sold in Kuoni shops and via its personal travel experts.

“Our core market has traditionally been couples, and a large share of our business is honeymooners who are looking for something really special,” Duguid said.

“The challenge we have is that we lose some of those customers when they have children and move into the family market, so we wanted to find a travel partner with great quality resort hotels geared to the family market which matches our profile.

“As our retail business grows there is a clear opportunity to work with carefully selected like-minded brands that complement and expands our own in-house product range.”

Neilson specialises in the family market with activity-based trips to keep children occupied. Holidays on offer include the Vounaki Beachclub in Paleros, Greece, which opens in May 2015 and offers windsurfing, mountain biking and children’s clubs.

Duguid said: “The clubs are all high quality and have a great reputation. The focus is more on activities and quality of tuition and less about room furnishings.”

Richard Bowden Doyle, chief executive of Neilson, said: “Neilson’s beach club holidays are all about having a go at whatever it is that takes your fancy, from stand-up paddle boarding and waterskiing to tennis and mountain biking.

“I know our ‘relax as hard as you like’ ethos will appeal to Kuoni customers.”

Neilson is one of several operators Kuoni has signed recent commercial deals with. Ski Independence trips are now on sale while Kuoni’s Stay and Cruise brand has seen it work with a number of cruise lines including Celebrity, Cunard and Azamara.

Sherpa turns to agents with new-look website

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Sherpa Expeditions has unveiled a redesigned website to make it easier for travel agents to book holidays online.

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Agents will be able to access the European activity holiday specialist’s entire product range of more than 100 trips – which are mostly self-guided – across the UK and Europe through the website.

It will have a user-friendly holiday search to help navigation, which agents can use to find trips based on a number of basic criteria including departure dates, trip duration and price. All information about each trip will be listed on a single page.

Meanwhile, a new inspiration and advice page will contain trip and accommodation ideas, explaining how itineraries are graded and offering practical advice on how to prepare for a holiday.

Holidays can be matched to people’s levels of fitness, making it easier for agents not familiar with walking holidays to offer their clients the appropriate trip.

Tali Emdin, Sherpa Expeditions manager, said: “Traditionally our core customer base has been dealing with Sherpa Expeditions directly. However, we have noticed that interest from travel agents has remained strong over the years.

“We had a very old website – the whole look needed to be upgraded and modernised to make it easier for agents to use.”

Prices lead in at £280pp for the four-day Yorskhire Dales mini-break and includes three nights’ B&B accommodation, notes and a route map.

Bristol airport tops global punctuality table

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Bristol airport is the most punctual in the world, according to league tables published today.

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It received an on-time performance rating of 94.4% from global aviation intelligence provider, OAG.

The results were based on 43.5 million flight records from 4,000 airports worldwide across 2014. Punctuality was based on the proportion of flights arriving and departing within 15 minutes of the scheduled time.

Robert Sinclair, Bristol airport’s chief executive, said: “This achievement is a joint effort and is testament to the collaborative approach taken by airlines, ground handlers and our own team.

“It demonstrates the advantages offered by regional airports such as Bristol, where airlines operate in uncongested airspace with greater flexibility and resilience in the event of any disruption.”

London Luton was rated the next most punctual UK airport, coming 10th in the small airport category.