Advantage Travel aims to raise awareness

Advantage Travel Centres, a consortium of independent travel agents, is launching its first advertising campaign for more than two years in a bid to drive customer awareness.

The group, whose 750 members have a combined turnover of more than £2bn a year, has recently diversified to create specialist units focusing on winter sports, cruises and luxury holidays.

The first two ads, which will run in The Economist and Good Housekeeping magazines in June and July, promote its members’ luxury and cruise offerings respectively, by directing them to the consortium’s specialised web pages.

Colin O’Neal, director of sales and marketing for Advantage, says the decision to advertise was prompted by a rise in its members using the group’s logo.

He says: “More than 75% of our members use some kind of Advantage branding in store, so we felt that we should advertise so that consumers have a better recognition of the Advantage brand.”

He says that agents who are members benefit from being part of a group with the buying power that Advantage has, but are still able to offer a personal service.

O’Neal says that as the travel consortium builds its brand, it is looking for affinity marketing partners and is hoping to get involved in film promotions.

Earlier this month, Advantage announced a “deeper strategic partnership” with tour operator Gold Medal Travel that will see the launch of dual-branded brochures and joint marketing activity, with Advantage endorsing Gold Medal’s Travel TV scheme, which places plasma screen TVs in travel agents’ shops.

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