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MANCHESTER LEISURE NEWS

Thursday March 13 2014


Entrepreneurial Cheshire Duo Launch Luxury Travel Brand




Entrepreneurial Cheshire Duo Launch Luxury Travel Brand

This week sees the launch of Alderley Edge-based JustResorts.co.uk - a vibrant new national travel market entrant, generating 15 jobs for the Cheshire area and bringing together a hand-picked selection of five star luxury European resorts in one comprehensive transactional website.
 
JustResorts.co.uk which is dedicated to high-end 5 star resorts, launches with almost 50 fabulous resorts including The Marbella Club Hotel Golf Resort & Spa, Elounda Bay Palace, Gloria Serenity, Vila Vita Parc, Blue Palace Resort and Aphrodite Hills.
 
The brand is brought to market by highly accomplished entrepreneurs Gerry and Vikki Ashton, who have recruited senior travel industry figures to their management team.
 
Gerry was a founding partner and shareholder of Eurocall which was sold to United Utilities in 2004 for £50m, and later invested, with his wife Vikki, in Pavillion – an advertising agency which the couple reinvented as a digital marketing agency before selling it to Hasgrove Plc in 2007 for £10m.
 
Prior to setting up JustResorts.co.uk, Gerry and Vikki have for the last two years successfully operated their own online booking portals for La Manga Club, Aphrodite Hills and Mar Menor resorts, whetting their appetite to take on a much bigger industry challenge.
 
Gerry explains: “Vikki and I have been in the very fortunate position of travelling to the world’s best resorts as discerning consumers, travelling both with and without our young children.  We understand the needs of our target market, and the challenges of family travel, as well as knowing the individual resorts that we are listing inside out.
 
“We are to work with a handful of the very best 5 star resorts in Europe rather than swamping the market with all properties available in a given destination.  In time we will widen our scope to include luxury 5 star resorts worldwide onto the site.
 
“Research shows us that there is real opportunity for JustResorts.co.uk to plug a gap in the market not currently filled.
 
“Over 50% of UK customers now want to book their accommodation and flights separately, and moreover a diminishing number of people are happy to take time out to request a luxury travel brochure (only to arrive in the post days later), and then have to set aside time to contact a traditional travel agent.
 
“In today’s 24 hour digital culture, what we are offering is fresh and new, and will invigorate the luxury travel market. People can book a luxury hotel or villa holiday on their tablet, phone or laptop at any time of the day. Alternatively, there is the option of calling one of our Luxury Resorts Specialists who are available 7 days a week.
 
These Specialists have in-depth knowledge of all the resorts featured on the website and are on hand to answer queries, or to provide a full VIP concierge service fulfilling all of their in-resorts needs from pre-booking a nanny service, to arranging a private butler, personal chef, tennis lesson or a spa treatment.
 
“The founding of JustResorts.co.uk was underpinned by a bespoke two year consumer research programme which enabled us to segment the luxury traveller into four major categories, all of which were considered when developing our brand.”
 
The customer doesn’t have to trawl through a host of different categories of accommodation in order to seek out the high quality resort hotels from amongst an overwhelming choice of accommodation types, categories and star ratings.
 
The JustResorts.co.uk website will promote all that each selected 5 star resort can offer, ensuring the full extent of the individual resort’s facilities, services and benefits are communicated in significant detail to the customer. Moreover, high resolution wide screen larger than average images are used throughout the site for maximum impact.
 
The launch of the business brings the creation of a variety of new positions from senior management roles to highly experienced Luxury Resorts Specialists. 
 
The JustResorts.co.uk senior team includes:-
 
Guy Edwards, Business Development Director, a former Director and joint founder of Ninety East Luxury Holidays, who also held roles as Head of Leisure Sales and Marketing for Uniglobe Northenden Travel Group, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager Southern Europe at Galileo International and Head of European Sales and Marketing for Ebookers.com.
 
Anne Carpenter, Product Director whose previous roles included Project Manager  at Shearings Holidays, Head of Product Contracting at BCT, a MyTravel subsidiary and Senior Product Manager at Cresta Holidays.
 
Jo McDonnell, Financial Controller, who joins from Great Days Travel Group, prior to which she held the position of Financial Controller at BCT and Cresta Holidays.
 
Laraine Geddes, Marketing Manager, an online marketing specialist who has overseen online booking sites for La Manga Club, Aphrodite Hills and Mar Menor resorts, and prior to which managed the advertising for Shearings Holidays whilst at Designate.
 
John Tulley, IT & Systems Manager, who was previously E Commerce Manager for for La Manga, Aphrodite Hills and Mar Menor resort websites, and prior to that an SEO Consultant at Electrotec.
 
JustResorts.co.uk is an ABTA member and ATOL Bonded.



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