Celebrating its 35th-anniversary in 2015, GTW speaks to the experts at Success Tours, which promotes short breaks and holidays to GTOs travelling by coach and air.

Success 35 Years (cmyk)

Founded in 1980, Success Tours started out as a small coach wholesaler and launched into the private group organiser market, promoting short breaks and holidays by coach and air. Based in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, Success Tours joined the Albatross Group in 1999 and has since become an award-winning team for the Best Group Tour Operator Short Haul in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014.

What is Success Tours?

Success Tours offers a complete range of tours by both coach and air to destinations throughout the UK, Europe and to many long-haul destinations. Travel arrangements include accommodation, flights, coaching, ferry services, tour managers and guiding services, and entrances to thousands of attractions. In addition to many off-the-shelf products, Success Tours will tailor travel arrangements to suit individual requirements.

Success Tours work with companies such as John Lewis Partnership, organisations and social clubs within the UK, providing tour itineraries that they can use for staff/group tours. Success Tours do not sell directly to the consumer market. For more information visit www.successtours.com.

The magnificent Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is included in the new Galacia and Oporto tour for 2016/17

The magnificent Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is included in the new Galacia and Oporto tour for 2016/17.

Tony Flanagan, Managing Director

050_GTW_Oct15_Success tours_TONYTony Flanagan has worked in the GTO market for many years, building long-lasting relationships with key organisers within the industry. He joined the team 10 years ago and was promoted to General Manager in 2013, and to Managing Director in 2015. Tony has a passion for sport and spends much of his weekend running a local youth football team. “We’ve worked hard to really understand who our customers are and more importantly, what their needs are.

“I walk into a John Lewis store and I immediately understand and appreciate that they know exactly who their customers are, and this is reflected in the products they provide – and it’s backed up with the finest service on the high street. “That is how I want Success Tours to be perceived – great products and a professional, friendly service that our customers can rely on every time they travel with us. It’s as simple as that.

“Loyalty isn’t simply created by delivering fantastic short breaks and holidays. It’s also about making it as easy as possible for our customers to book with us and we’ve worked hard to introduce new systems and processes to allow us to do that.” “In three years time, we want to be known as the UK’s leading group tour advisor who provide a quality product range whilst delivering effortless service to our customers.“That’s what success looks like to each and every member of my team. We are working hard to introduce new systems and processes that will enable us to continue providing fantastic and innovative short breaks and holidays, whilst maintaining our award-winning reputation of making our customer booking journey as effortless as possible.”

“We’ve worked closely with Tony and Success Tours over the years, a relationship built on trust, sound products as well as robust discussion on how we can continuously improve the offer. As society and our trading patterns have changed, we’ve been able to adapt. Success is always willing to listen, change and suggest new products or ways of working.” – Jon White, Manager Leisure Benefits and PartnerChoice, John Lewis Partnership.

TIPS FROM THE SUCCESS TOURS TEAM:

Andy Wenham, Office Manager

051_GTW_Oct15_Success tours_ANDYAndy Wenham has worked at Success Tours since 2002, dealing with operations, as well as selling to a small number of clients. He’s also the Office Manager and is responsible for all the Back Office team, whilst assisting Managing Director Tony Flanagan in running the business.

Andy has worked in travel since he was 22 years old and spent 14 years overseas as a rep for winter ski and summer seasons for Neilson and First Choice throughout Europe.

“It’s important that we have a good relationship with our suppliers and that they share the same values and have the same customer service standards that we have. To ensure that our tours run smoothly it’s important that we dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s regarding timings, meal arrangements and accessibility. This is followed up by our “Day 2 Calling” – when we speak to the GTO on the second day to make sure that the group are happy and everything is OK.”

Jo Blair, Account Manager

051_GTW_Oct15_Success tours_TONYJo Blair has worked at Success Tours since 2013, having worked in the groups market for more than 15 years. Jo is a member of the sales team. She lives in the Cotswolds and loves travelling and finding interesting places to visit off the beaten track.

“Plan well in advance – a year or so if possible – to ensure the preferred hotels have space and the itinerary can be tweaked if need be, with plenty of time to promote the tour. “Canvas your ideas with group members well in advance, so you know you have a core of people who are interested in the same place as you.

“Do a little bit of homework and know what you want to get out of the tour – is there a particular gallery/museum/monument/theme to the tour? We can advise on the rest and make it a varied and well rounded tour within your parameters.”

Blair Castle panorama

Blair Castle is included in the Castles and Palaces of Perthshire tour. STEPHEN FARTHING

NEW TOURS FOR 2016/17

MOUNTAINS, LAKES AND LEDERHOSEN

Six days from £689 per person, based on a twin/double and a minimum of 40 paying passengers.

GALICIA AND OPORTO

Eight days from £889 per person, based on a twin/double and a minimum of 40 paying passengers.

MONET TO FONTAINEBLEAU

Five days from £439 per person, based on a twin/double and a minimum of 40 paying passengers.

FINE ARTS IN GLASGOW

Four days from £539 per person, based on a twin/double and a minimum of 40 paying passengers.

HISTORIC HOUSES OF NORTHUMBRIA

Five days from £435 per person, based on a twin/double and a minimum of 40 paying passengers.

ART AND PALACES IN LISBON

Six days from £689 per person, based on a twin/double and a minimum of 40 paying passengers.