Published on Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Accommodation-only specialist opens up to trade



Luxury property specialist Simply Chateau is to start selling through travel agents for the first time, offering 10% commission on all bookings plus dedicated support for trade enquiries.


Launched in 2003, Simply Chateau and its sister companies Stately Escapes, Simply Caribe and newly launched Simply Italy have until now been direct-sell only.


However, the company said that growing interest from the trade, particularly at last year's World Travel Market, has encouraged it to open up its product to trade partners.  


The four property portfolios, each with its own dedicated website, feature over 1,000 hand-picked,privately-owned chateaux, villas, castles, cottages and villages to rent throughout France, Italy, the Caribbean and the UK.


As well as earning 10% commission on property bookings, agents are free to add their own supplementary commission onto bookings, where they feel it's appropriate.


Average bookings are around £4,000 but can go up to as much as £130,000 for a whole Caribbean island estate.


A non-branded, non-priced PDF brochure for each property is available for agents to download direct from the websites and personalise for their own clients, and a dedicated trade enquiry email [email protected] has been set up for booking requests.  


Marketing manager Maria Serna said: "We are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year and despite the difficult economic climate business has been growing steadily. Our presence at World Travel Market last year got a great response, particularly our Caribbean collection Simply Caribe, which lends itself to travellers looking to book independently owned accommodation alongside flights, car hire and other activities that can be packaged up by a travel agent and coupled with their expert knowledge of these long- haul destinations. 


"The 'special occasion' market across France, Italy and the UK was also of particular interest. We are very excited to be working more closely with travel agents and hope that building stronger trade relations will increase sales for us all."



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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.

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