Jules Verne promotes pair to boost partnerships and sales

Jules Verne has created two new senior roles in its leadership team, with Laura Kelly promoted to head of partnerships and Richard Adams as head of sales and marketing.

The small group escorted tour operator said the new positions have been created “to meet the brand’s ambitions”.

Kelly has been with Jules Verne for more than 34 years and is its longest-serving member of staff.

After five-and-a-half years as head of commercial, she now becomes head of partnerships “in response to a growing opportunity to widely collaborate within the trade” – such as tourist boards, airlines, destination marketing companies and suppliers.

She will oversee the development of Jules Verne’s new partnership programme and develop industry, brand and charity partnerships.

Adams joined as head of marketing in December 2023, following commercial and senior management roles with the likes of Hurtigruten, Great Rail Journeys and Collette.

The creation of his new role as head of sales and marketing reflects the brand’s “increasingly integrated approach” across the sales and marketing departments.

Jules Verne said he “masterminded” the brand’s spring sale – its largest sale yet – which was “strongly embraced” by the trade including branches of Kuoni, Baldwins Travel and Hays Travel.

In addition to his previous responsibilities, he will now also lead the sales team, the dedicated travel experts supporting an ever-expanding network of travel agent partners.

Debbie O’Neill, managing director at Jules Verne, said: “In our 46th year, it remains of utmost importance that we continue to evolve with and adapt to the growing demand, shifting priorities and core ambitions of the brand, its customers and more widely, the travel industry.

“It’s a joy to announce two new roles within the senior leadership team which are reflective of our evolution, and to promote two highly experienced, well-respected colleagues Laura and Richard into the positions of head of partnerships and head of sales and marketing.

“I’m excited to see further development of our partnerships programme, which will broaden access to our incredible brand as well as the inspiring small group escorted tours that we offer, especially under Laura’s management – a colleague of mine for 30 years and counting. Her understanding, dedication and passion for the brand is unparalleled.

“Likewise, I am looking forward to the continued strengthening of our brand as we pursue an integrated sales and marketing strategy driven by Richard.

“He has made an incredible impact since joining us, so I am thrilled how his dedication and innovative thinking will drive us forward.”

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