Drive American

Published on Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Leger Holidays doubles trade marketing spend

Leger Holidays has doubled its trade marketing budget for this year following a management buyout of the operator.

The Rotherham-based business, which specialises in escorted battlefield tours, is looking to significantly boost its sales through agents, who already account for around 20% of its bookings.

Commercial director Liam Race said it was keen to work more closely with agents because its customers, mostly over 60s, like to speak to someone face to face when booking its escorted tours.

For the first time, Leger Holidays' television adverts - based on the slogan 'You're in good company' - include a message to customers advising them to book through their local travel agent.

"We've got a good relationship with Hayes and now that it has taken on the Thomas Cook shops that's become an even more important partnership for us," said Race.

"We see the sad demise of Thomas Cook as an opportunity for us to work with more independent agents and homeworkers, which is a growing market. Although our call centre does a really good job, many of our customers like to speak to someone face to face who can walk them through our tours. We went to ensure we don't get left behind and that we are getting our message across to the trade."

Joan Toker has joined as sales executive for the north. She previously worked for Sunset Faraway Holidays, Hays Travel and Travelpack.

She will work with Ashley Dellow, head of retails sales, who will now focus on the south of the UK.

The new sales focus comes after a management buyout by Race along with finance director Andrew Oldfield and operations director Chris Plummer and with support from the NatWest bank.

They acquired 30% of the company from Ian and Kathleen Henry, who continue to hold a 70% shareholding. Ian will continue as CEO of the business.

The company's second tier management team has been expanded as part of the buyout.

Linda Ginesi has joined as marketing manager. She was previously in a marketing role at Sheffield Hallam University.

Steve Spencer has been appointed in the newly-created role of continuous improvement manager. He joins from FCM Travel Solutions and before that was with Flight Centre

Claire Crawshaw joins from Go Outdoors and JD Sports as commercial finance manager to make sure the company's customer-focussed strategy is cost effective.

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