A new corporate name, slogan, logo, consolidated website and way of doing business has been launched this week by the Entire Travel Group. Rolling its nine individual specialist brands into the one platform is a strategy aimed at benefiting the trade and creating greater “efficiencies”, say Entire Travel Group CEO Brand McDonnell.
Some 12 months in the making, the one-stop-shop sees content from the legacy brand, French Travel Connection (which McDonnell acquired in late 2006) and those of sister brands; Tahiti Travel Connection, New Caledonia Travel Connection, Switzerland Travel Connection, Spain & Portugal Connection, Barge Travel Connection, Canada & Alaska Travel Connection, CIT/Italy Travel Connection and the most recent brand, Maldives Travel Connection (which debuted in mid-2018); morphed into the one website, and putting to rest the Travel Connection title.
Travel advisors familiar with those standalone websites will now find the complete catalogue of curated content at www.entiretravel.com.au.
McDonnell says one key message of the business shake-up is that for the trade “nothing has actually changed”.
“We still have the elite team of soon-to-be 10 dedicated consultants just for Italy. We still have the France team, we still have the Spain and Portugal team… a collection of specialist wholesaler brands and destinations.”
Around half of the specialist reservation teams are native to the countries they package for travel advisors and have been with Entire Travel Group for years.
McDonnell said the operation under the one moniker was not to become a “generalist” wholesaler, emphasising that the company would “stay true to who we are and deliver on our promise of being a specialist wholesaler, and our promise of dedicated sales consultants”.
‘When Experience Matters’
It’s Entire Travel Group’s specialist experience and knowledge that is the cornerstone of a newly adopted tagline, ‘When Experience Matters’, he said.
“We’re not selling two nights on the Gold Coast. We’re selling two-, three-, four-week experiences in Canada/Alaska. Honeymoons in the Maldives, trips throughout Europe, it might be a multi-generational family spending 70, 80 thousand dollars on a barge in the South of France. These are not little getaways… when people are looking for great product, supported by great consultants, and backed up by a great organisation that can put it all together for them. And that’s where we fit in,” he said.
One of the primary reasons for the brand refresh and merged websites is product awareness. That and the time saving and costs involved with running one standalone website and central phone number, versus multiple 1300 phone numbers, nine separate websites and the parent company domain.
McDonnell said it was common for travel advisors to tell him they may have been very familiar with one ETG brand, such as French Travel Connection, but were unaware of the connection to sister-brands, Spain & Portugal or CIT/Italy Travel Connection. Through the new website, “hundreds and hundreds” of packages are now congregated under the one roof, opening the door for cross promotion of product. It also paves the way for an expansion of packages and increased efficiencies.
Travel advisors can now utilise a drop-down menu of “experiences” across the full range of destinations, with subheadings including options such as Culture, Food & Wine, Battlefields, Wellness, Beach Holidays and also Luxury. Here users will find packages such as a seven-night stay at Niyama Private Island Resort, currently priced from $6,299 per person twin share.
The refreshed logo also features a geo-pin, chosen as a simple and recognisable symbol to represent travel, plus it can be effectively used in promotional activity.
More than a wholesaler
In his presentation to media this week, McDonnell described the company as more of a DMC (Destination Management Company) than that of a wholesaler.
“We have hundreds of direct contracts in Europe. Our contract managers are not going to a DMC, working with someone who does it for us. We are doing that. We are working directly with the transfer company, the tour operator company, the luxury chauffeur company, the chateau… etc etc. We literally work with hundreds of suppliers across Europe putting this product together.
“So where is our added value? It’s experiences bundled together.”
McDonnell also boldly stated in terms of the experiences and product available for agents through Entire Travel Group, “nothing comes close to what we are offering here simply because we specialise in the destinations”.
New wave of brochures
This week’s new era for Entire Travel Group is timed with the introduction of the first of 10 scheduled brochures. Up first are brochures for France/Italy, Canada/Alaska, Italy, Spain/Portugal and Switzerland. In the new year, other brochures will include Unique Cruises, Bespoke Small Groups, Scandinavia, Tahiti/New Caledonia and the Maldives/Sri Lanka.
McDonnell said that the new-look guides would be on agent shelves from next week. On each cover, the previous branding with the Travel Connection affiliation will remain, continuing the association for those travel advisors unaware of the rebrand. Agents will also find TourCode numbers alongside each package, which are easily navigated to on the website for a full product listing.
For more details, see entiretravel.com.au
Lead image: Entire Travel Group executives launch the company’s new era (from left): Greg McCallum, Director of Sales; Amanda Sheehan, Service Delivery Manager (Europe and North America); Caroline Brunel, Director of Marketing and Brad McDonnell, CEO.