Tour Operators

Turquoise Holidays embraces the celebration market as new MD outlines fast track to expansion

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Turquoise Holidays has seen a surge in demand for celebration holidays over the past eighteen months, resulting in an upgraded outlook for growth and a forthcoming expansion of its London store and product portfolio.

James Bell, who as marketing director has shaped the company’s brand ethos and development from its inception in 2002 as a luxury Australian specialist to its current position as one of the UK’s leading boutique long haul honeymoon and family tour operators, takes over the reigns as MD from co-founder Brian Barton.  Barton will continue an active role in the business as Executive Chairman. At the company’s summer AGM, Bell outlined the three year plan to increase annual sales from £15 million to £25 million, with the average holiday spend forecast to rise to £9000.

Turquoise has seen its family holiday market grow from 14% to 24% since 2014 when it launched its first dedicated family brochure and opened its South West London shop. The average selling price of a family holiday has jumped from £11500 to over £13500. The average price of a tailor made holiday or honeymoon is now almost £8000.

Bell says: “We went into the family market with our eyes wide open, filling what we correctly perceived to be a distinct gap in the market and we have not been disappointed by the response. We have, however, been somewhat taken by surprise with the marked increase in requests for ‘something special’ to celebrate significant birthdays and anniversaries. This has seen our average booking jump by £1500 per holiday in just over 12 months. It has also given our already buoyant family holiday sector a boost, as many celebration holidays include children, and even grandchildren.”

The Maldives is Turquoise Holidays’ biggest selling destination by volume, followed by Mauritius, Thailand and Tahiti. Mauritius and the Maldives are the top two best-sellers for all three holiday sectors – tailor made, honeymoon and family. The top ten highest performing destinations include the UAE (Dubai/Oman), Malaysia, St Lucia, Antigua, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), South Africa, Indonesia (Bali/Lombok) and The Seychelles.

Turquoise will be doubling its Northcote Road (South West London) office and shop floor space this month. Burma, The Philippines, California and Mexico are all being added to Turquoise Holiday’s destination portfolio for 2016/17 along with a new dedicated Celebration Holiday division.   

New staff positions within the company include: marketing and client services director, a position which will be filled by current marketing manager Lizzie Heeley; sales & operations director, to which Jonty Higgs has been promoted, with Nicole Edgerley taking the role of head of accounts & HR. Sue Bell remains Product Director with special responsibility for new destination and product development.

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