Travel Designers and Kuoni to end partner deal after five years

Travel Designers is to end its formal partnership with Kuoni after five years.

The travel agency, based in Balham, London, said the decision to no longer operate as a Kuoni Partner store from January 2018 was “completely amicable” and based on feedback from clients for a wider choice of suppliers.

Nick Harding-McKay, managing director, said: “I have to listen to my clients. They want us to offer a wider spectrum of suppliers and I don’t think we can reach the figures required for Kuoni if we do that. There is no ill feeling, it’s just about being honest.”

He still expects Kuoni to be one of the shop’s top five suppliers in sales terms, but from January the agency will look to work more closely with some other luxury suppliers it has not sold before.

“We are not ditching Kuoni, but their sales may fall slightly,” he added.

Following the departure of Travel Designers, Kuoni will have 11 travel agent partner stores. Kuoni added two partner stores in June, Feherty Travel and TravelLab, and more are being sought for 2019.

Kuoni national sales manager Brad Bennetts said: “Whilst the formal partnership comes to a close, we will carry on working closely with Travel Designers and will continue to support them as one of our key travel agents.

“We want to thank Nicholas and the whole team for the terrific support as a partner store over the years. Our partnership strategy is about adapting to change and being open to new ways of working, so we’re always evolving and respecting each other’s business direction.”

Travel Designers also plans to add a new strapline under its name, ‘truly independent’, to highlight the fact it is not allied with any specific suppliers. This will appear on the shop front.

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