The Turquoise Holiday Company Celebrates 20 Years of Holidays & Honeymoons - TravelMole

The Turquoise Holiday Company Celebrates 20 Years of Holidays & Honeymoons

Tuesday, May 24, 2022 0


Islands and beaches specialist tour operator The Turquoise Holiday Company is delighted to announce its 20th anniversary. As well as celebrating the hurdles and high points of the last 20 years, Turquoise will be launching a wave of celebratory offers and sharing its best kept secrets of bespoke luxury travel over the coming months as the team applaud 20 years of planning dream holidays.


Founded in 2002, by Sue & James Bell and Brian Barton, this family-owned and run business began with a mission to create a truly unique travel business and put the romance and glamour into the industry.  With a focus on customer care and making truly memorable holidays, Sue, James and Brian started like all great small businesses, at the kitchen table. The Gulf War raged, and the bird flu epidemic was at its zenith and with just one computer between them, the brand emerged from the idea of the ubiquitous Tiffany blue box; the colouring becoming a firm representation of the gin-clear, turquoise seas and oceans which surrounded Sue, James and Brian’s favourite destinations.


Launching the business with honeymoons at the core, Tahiti and the islands of the South Pacific remain a spiritual home for Turquoise. At the start, James hand-delivered each honeymoon itinerary with a red rose and bottle of champagne, creating possibly the most romantic travel company in the UK. The business blossomed and 20 years later honeymoons still represent over 50% of the business, with a 30% increase in enquiries having been seen since the pandemic, as couples look for certainty and advice post-covid.


20 years on and over 10,000 honeymoon bookings later (80% of which have used the gift list service as well), Turquoise is well and truly embedded into the lives of thousands of couples.  It was only natural then that many have returned with a family in tow and in summer 2014, the first family brochure was launched, with a dedicated website full of holiday ideas and inspiration for busy parents. The family market continues to grow month on month, and to date, Turquoise has booked over 5,000 family holidays and arranged uncountable, once-in-a-lifetime celebrations.  In 2021, Turquoise expanded its portfolio to include short haul destinations for the first time, introducing hand-picked holidays to Greece, Italy and Ibiza with a curated collection of hotels that have been chosen as they honour Turquoise Holidays’ founding values; boutique travel centered around clear, turquoise waters. Here are some other Turquoise statistics:


  • There has been a seismic shift in booking patterns, with huge demand for late bookings now ‘on trend’. Historically, 80% of Turquoise’s holidays were booked for travel six months in advance and beyond. Now the team is seeing the reverse, with 80% being booked for travel within six months
  • Holiday spend is up by 10-15%. This has been fuelled by a weak pound, especially against the dollar, rising air-fares and tax on fuel costs
  • Christmas and October Half Term 2022 are already very busy, with prices up 20% on pre-pandemic levels for peak dates
  • 40% of Turquoise clients are repeat bookers
  • 30% go on two long haul holidays per year
  • The average cost of a 7-to-10-night beach holiday has risen from £5,000 to over £12,500 over the past 20 years
  • It is now more expensive to travel short haul from UK than long haul during summer school holidays
  • 50% of Turquoise clients show interest in staying in an overwater bungalow
  • 70% of Turquoise clients would ideally like a private pool
  • 27% of Turquoise clients travel one way in economy class, and one way in business class


The team and their experience remains integral to the success of Turquoise Holidays. Five key words have been printed on the Turquoise business cards from the beginning and continue to remain core founding values – Authentic, Discerning, Original, Refreshing and Unique. The philosophy is simple and revolves around one word – passion – passion for the destinations, passion for exceptional service, and a passion for combining these things with a first hand insight into the countries, islands, regions, hotels and rooms.


So, what of the future and where will the next twenty years take us? James Bell, Managing Director comments, ‘I know we have the strength of a brand for a company three times our size. I know we have the most amazing staff and a book bursting with clients who love what we do. So onwards and upwards, more of the same and new destinations to love and explore. I’d like to expand our new European offering, add to our list of the world’s most beautiful islands and continue offering bespoke tailormade holidays. We will continue to play to our strength as a family run and owned operator, focusing on family owned and run properties around the world. We must be unique, refreshing, discerning, authentic and original in everything we do, making magic happen for our clients. The team we have are very special and I promise to look after them as well as they look after our clients. If we can achieve only this – the next twenty years will be very exciting indeed’.


Watch this space for Turquoise’s top 20 hotels with under 100 rooms, some exceptional savings, and the highs from the last 20 years of travel!

Learn more about Turquoise Holiday Company

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