The editor's blog

All posts tagged: Davy Jones out of the Monkees

From Glastonbury and Wimbledon in one day…to the wife of Davy Jones from the Monkees

Posted by: Daniel Pearce Fri, 2 Sep 2011

Four weeks in to our new look magazine and website and I feel like I’ve let you down already by not updating this blog.

Busy times, with pushing through the new look, overcoming some of the inevitable glitches that come with a new website - or rather watching our indefatigable Web Editor Paul Revel overcome them alongside me - and the exciting ITT conference in Venice which dominated the early part of the month.

More recently I’ve resisted the temptation to simply place on here the leader columns I write weekly in the magazine, and which tend to focus on some of the bigger issues in travel (APD, Atols…lots of other acronyms beginning with A.) Rather I’ll reserve these pages for more general observations on The Business of Selling Travel (hoping the strapline is sounding familiar to you now!) and sharing some of the more exciting stuff that my privileged position as editor of TTG means I can get up to in the name of work…

Two examples of the latter have popped up over the last week. Last Friday (June 24) was a day and a half -when along with TTG business writer (features) Carlie Trotter I took up an invitation from Bourne Leisure to see each of their brands - Butlins, Haven and Warner Leisure Hotels - in one day.

Of course that was a tall order and with limited time available to us (one of us…no names mentioned…had a ticket Tom Jones that night) there was only one thing to do - call for the Bourne Leisure chopper!

 

The Bourne Leisure chopper

Travelling in the helicopter and around the south west had the desired effect, illustrating in a few hours the breadth of Bourne’s brands, from the polished efficiency at Butlins at Minehead on changeover day, to the fish therapy in the surprising spa at Haven in Devoncliffs, to the classic Warner hotel at Cricket St Thomas. We also had the time to meet Diane Denney, the amazing travel  seller in Ilfracombe who recently picked up Tipto’s independent proprietor of the year award - an agent who is having real success with charging £50 a time to weed out the time wasters (a popular theme at the recent Aito conference in Vilnius).

What was most memorable was finding out from Bourne head of retail sales Allan Lambert the shared values that underpin each of the diverse brands, and seeing how despite the diversity of the brands the same focus on the customer shows through in each.

(Ok, I tell a lie…what was most memorable was seeing both Glastonbury and Wimbledon in action while we were on our travels, albeit from more than 1,000 ft up. Sorry Allan! But every aspect of the day will live long in the memory, not least the impressive systems that underpin each of Bourne Leisure’s brands.)

Secondly I’ve just returned from a day out on another mode of transport, seeing another side of this huge business - the recent changes made to Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess - on a changeover day on the ship in Southampton.

The day was another education for me - did you know Grand Princess was the biggest and most expensive cruise liner ever when it was launched in 1998? With 2,600 passengers - against Oasis of the Seas’ 6,300 - it underlined exactly how UK cruise has moved on in the 13 years since.

But so has the Grand Princess after what Princess is describing as “the most expensive refit in its history”. In a tour that included an impromptu flamenco performance from the wife of Davy Jones from the Monkees - I know that’s an odd sentence but I’m standing by it - key changes included a new piazza-style atrium, fresh pizza in Alfredo’s Pizzeria and the One5 lounge bar and disco replacing Skywalkers - the nightclub which spanned the back of the ship and has been literally removed, opening up Al Fresco’s bar and the rear pool area.

It was also really insightful to chat with new UK director Paul Ludlow and head of brand marketing Pieter Van Der Schee, who are certainly talking a good game when it comes to growing Princess’s sales in the UK, where it’s already in the number four position.

More on that in next week’s TTG, dated July 7.

And more in this blog when I can get round to it - it’ll be sooner next time, I promise…!  

From Glastonbury and Wimbledon in one day…to the wife of Davy Jones from the Monkees

Posted by: Daniel Pearce Fri, 2 Sep 2011

Four weeks in to our new look magazine and website and I feel like I’ve let you down already by not updating this blog.

Busy times, with pushing through the new look, overcoming some of the inevitable glitches that come with a new website - or rather watching our indefatigable Web Editor Paul Revel overcome them alongside me - and the exciting ITT conference in Venice which dominated the early part of the month.

More recently I’ve resisted the temptation to simply place on here the leader columns I write weekly in the magazine, and which tend to focus on some of the bigger issues in travel (APD, Atols…lots of other acronyms beginning with A.) Rather I’ll reserve these pages for more general observations on The Business of Selling Travel (hoping the strapline is sounding familiar to you now!) and sharing some of the more exciting stuff that my privileged position as editor of TTG means I can get up to in the name of work…

Two examples of the latter have popped up over the last week. Last Friday (June 24) was a day and a half -when along with TTG business writer (features) Carlie Trotter I took up an invitation from Bourne Leisure to see each of their brands - Butlins, Haven and Warner Leisure Hotels - in one day.

Of course that was a tall order and with limited time available to us (one of us…no names mentioned…had a ticket Tom Jones that night) there was only one thing to do - call for the Bourne Leisure chopper!

 

The Bourne Leisure chopper

Travelling in the helicopter and around the south west had the desired effect, illustrating in a few hours the breadth of Bourne’s brands, from the polished efficiency at Butlins at Minehead on changeover day, to the fish therapy in the surprising spa at Haven in Devoncliffs, to the classic Warner hotel at Cricket St Thomas. We also had the time to meet Diane Denney, the amazing travel  seller in Ilfracombe who recently picked up Tipto’s independent proprietor of the year award - an agent who is having real success with charging £50 a time to weed out the time wasters (a popular theme at the recent Aito conference in Vilnius).

What was most memorable was finding out from Bourne head of retail sales Allan Lambert the shared values that underpin each of the diverse brands, and seeing how despite the diversity of the brands the same focus on the customer shows through in each.

(Ok, I tell a lie…what was most memorable was seeing both Glastonbury and Wimbledon in action while we were on our travels, albeit from more than 1,000 ft up. Sorry Allan! But every aspect of the day will live long in the memory, not least the impressive systems that underpin each of Bourne Leisure’s brands.)

Secondly I’ve just returned from a day out on another mode of transport, seeing another side of this huge business - the recent changes made to Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess - on a changeover day on the ship in Southampton.

The day was another education for me - did you know Grand Princess was the biggest and most expensive cruise liner ever when it was launched in 1998? With 2,600 passengers - against Oasis of the Seas’ 6,300 - it underlined exactly how UK cruise has moved on in the 13 years since.

But so has the Grand Princess after what Princess is describing as “the most expensive refit in its history”. In a tour that included an impromptu flamenco performance from the wife of Davy Jones from the Monkees - I know that’s an odd sentence but I’m standing by it - key changes included a new piazza-style atrium, fresh pizza in Alfredo’s Pizzeria and the One5 lounge bar and disco replacing Skywalkers - the nightclub which spanned the back of the ship and has been literally removed, opening up Al Fresco’s bar and the rear pool area.

It was also really insightful to chat with new UK director Paul Ludlow and head of brand marketing Pieter Van Der Schee, who are certainly talking a good game when it comes to growing Princess’s sales in the UK, where it’s already in the number four position.

More on that in next week’s TTG, dated July 7.

And more in this blog when I can get round to it - it’ll be sooner next time, I promise…!  

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