Elite 2011: Consortium to refocus on luxury market

position itself as the only consortium focused on luxury travel agents.

At its annual conference in Jersey on Saturday, the group revealed a new logo and plans to increase its focus on the top end of the?market.

Three quarters of members were already part of Elite's group for luxury travel experts, Ethos.

Chairman Wayne Darrock told Travel Weekly: "The majority of our members had a real focus and an interest in luxury, and most of the operators we worked with were high end operators, so it was a logical step.

"Our challenge is the small percentage that weren't in Ethos, and we'd ask them why not? You should be aspiring for higher value bookings and higher margins, not settling for bucket and spade."

The consortium will expand its activity around the luxury market, which already includes training sessions, operator events and a magazine that can be personalised and sent out to clients.

Darrock expects potential new members to be attracted by the luxury tag.

"Most of the approaches we have had?over the last two years from potential new members have been from high end agencies wanting to be part of a luxury-focused group.

"However, sometimes people can't move because they are tied into a contract. Some people want to get into homeworking or they are?independents?who are?sick of Abta and want an alternative.

"We can't offer that at the moment but it's something we're looking at."

Darrock said next year's conference would be held in the UK and three venues are i