Sani and Ikos Resorts set to launch agent platform
Sister hotel brands Sani Resort and Ikos Resorts are set to create an agent platform as part of a strategy to work closer with the trade.
The hotelier, best known for its Greek properties, is setting up its first office in the UK and has appointed Lee Barker to head up a yet to be recruited team. Barker joins from Kerzner International where he worked for more than a decade.
Barker hopes to have the new digital platform up and running by October as he looks to help agents “build a knowledge and understanding” of the two brands.
The online hub will house a training programme, booking reward details and incentives, and fact sheets.
Barker said the brand had strong ties with tour operators but admitted they needed to do more to “penetrate the travel agent community”.
He explained that 70% of bookings came through tour operators, but there was little visibility of which agents are making those bookings. He said the other 30% came from direct bookings, OTAs and other channels.
He said: “I’m extremely excited to be heading up the office here in the UK. Over the years, Ikos and Sani have built up very strong relationships with the tour operator community, but the brands are yet to penetrate the travel agent community.
“Our strategy is to build strong ties with agents, not with a view of taking those agent bookings away from tour operators, but to build a knowledge and understanding among agents about our product.
“I see a big opportunity with luxury agents – those offering a concierge style service, who have an affluent clientele. The opportunity for growth is exciting.”
Barker said eventually a full fam trip programme would be introduced.
He is recruiting for three positions - sales support, business development and a head of sales and marketing.
Sani Resort is made up of five properties in Halkidiki, Greece, while Ikos operates four properties in Greece and has a new addition in Andalusia, Spain.