Explore Travel turns to trade

the trade for the first time under its Explore Montenegro and new Explore Croatia brands.

The Atol-bonded luxury specialist, which launched at the end of 2011 and sold its first holidays last summer to Montenegro as a direct-sell operator, is already in talks with Advantage and in the process of approaching other independent consortia to set up commerical deals.

It has recruited Kimberly Butler as trade and partnership manager to build relationships with agents. Commission starts at 10%.

Programme director Doug Mathieson said: "The reason we want to work with the trade is because it's a great low cost distribution network with access to different customers than the ones we can get to direct."

Capacity has been doubled this year to between 3,000 and 4,000 passengers.

A fam trip is to be offered to agents in April on its first rail tour, which connects Belgrade to Montengro on the former Yugoslav ruler Tito's state carriages.

Croatia is being offered for the first time for summer 2013 following a successful year offering Montenegro. It features Dubrovnik, the Peljesac [has an upside down hat on the 's'] Peninsula, Brac and Hvar Islands.

The operator has an expanded range of more than 150 villas, apartments and hotels in Montenegro and Croatia for 2013. It offers full packages including car hire, accommodation, villa hosts or accommodation-only.

The operator has increased capacity with Montenegro Airlines and started working with Monarch for 2013 and books other airlines on request.

Prices lead in at £349 based on four sharing two bedroom apartment Kotor Vista in the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, with return flights from Gatwick and car hire in May.

Agents interested in joining the fam trip should email Kimberly@exploretravel.me