Inspiring Travel Company cuts beach holiday prices in best price pledge

The Inspiring Travel Company has slashed the majority of its long-haul beach holiday costs following a ‘best price first’ pledge to beat stiff competition in the sector.

The move comes as the tour operator announces an overhaul of its Villa Select website to make it bookable for agents for the first time, and for ITC Sports Travel, an exclusive charter of cruise ship Crystal Esprit for next February’s one day cricket international in the Caribbean.

Agency sales director Lee Marshall said ITC had rolled out the new pledge from the start of November on long-haul beach holidays because of an “exceptionally competitive” market.

He said: “We are having to work hard to convert sales. The market place is so crowded and everyone is looking for better value; this as the new reality.

“Our objective is not to beaten on long-haul price. We have reviewed all our margins and taken the commercial decision to bring these down. The majority will come down but it varies by destination how much.”

A trial last month has already seen “significant uplift” in sales.  He added: “We’ll work with agents on a full commission model but if it is exceptionally competitive we will offer the net price.”

To further boost agent sales, Villa Select has been made bookable for the trade. The site, which was already bookable for consumers, filters searches by price, location, villa size, and pools.

Marshall said: “This product lends itself to online bookings and this comes into its own when we are not open. We have a call centre but ultimately a lot of agents want to browse online.”

New for ITC Sports Travel is a full charter of the 27-cabin luxury yacht Crystal Esprit for a seven night cruise from Barbados to St Lucia with one day at the National Stadium in Grenada for the fourth One Day International cricket tournament.

The cruise, from £9,949, will be joined by English cricket legend David Gower, as celebrity ambassador on board. Agents who book a cabin will receive a £200 Love2shop voucher in addition to 10% commission.

Marshall added: “This is an opportunity for agents to engage with customers. It’s not a cricketing tour, it is a luxury cruise but it is particularly special, with David Gower on board. There will be ‘state of the nation’ addresses every day to review the cricket and pre and post tours available.”

The group has also launched a brand-wide fixed incentive of £15 Love2shop vouchers on every booking across Regent, Villa Select, ITC Sport, with up to £500 in retail rewards available on Inspiring Travel Company and Rainbow Africa bookings.

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