Sandals and Beaches Resorts is set to launch a new fully protected UK tour operator under the name of Unique Caribbean Holidays Limited (UCHL) from April 10.

The move sees the company selling fully protected Luxury Included holidays directly to trade for the first time.

Karl Thompson, the brand’s managing director UK & Europe, said: “Our relationship with our trade partners has always been at the forefront of our UK business model and therefore setting up as a tour operator was a natural step for us to further develop closer and more meaningful commercial and marketing partnerships.”

Commercial agreements are already in place with key travel agency groups and the news has received high praise from the industry. Global Travel Group’s commercial director, Cherie Richards, said: “We have worked with Sandals for many years and are thrilled that they will also be operating as a UK tour operator dealing directly with agents. Here at The Global Travel Group our members have benefited from the long standing relationship with Sandals and we are looking forward to strengthening the relationship further”

Thompson said: “Another benefit of this new tour operation for our trade partners is our continued price parity commitment, meaning that every price that a consumer is able to book with us directly is always available and commissionable to our travel agency partners.”

The company’s investment in bespoke technology, via a new booking engine developed with leading travel technology provider Traveltek, will allow for travel agents to book online – two years in advance if needed, as well manage their bookings with access to a flight and price availability calendar. The new company will also have a 24-hour helpline and bespoke agent portal.

Meanwhile, the company has introduced new incentive schemes, available to all agents making bookings with any tour operator, including a special launch initiative. It offers agents the chance to win a week’s Luxury Included stay in a Luxurious Butler Suite at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Jamaica – and six stays are up for grabs.

For a chance to win, agents should make a booking by May 5 register it with the company’s agency sales team. The marketing and commercial partnership with tour operator Funway Holidays changes as of April 10 as the licence agreement expires, but Funway will continue to feature Sandals and Beaches Resorts within their extensive Caribbean and US portfolio.

To find out more about training or to speak to the sales team call 020-7590 0210 or visit sellingsandals.co.uk

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