Advantage lifts profile of travel independents

Advantage Travel, a consortium of 720 independent travel agents, has hired Brighter PR to build a brand that can rival the high-street chains such as Thomson and Thomas Cook.

Advantage will promote case studies to its members to show how companies that have fully traded on its brand have seen benefits to their business, according to Brighter MD Steve Dunne.

‘Some agents will not want to be branded because they are already well known in their area, but we want people to embrace the new identity as much as possible,’ he said.

The consortium was created in the early 1990s, but awareness of its brand currently stands at less than ten per cent of consumers, according to Dunne.

Advantage will also promote travel to regions impacted, though not directly affected, by the tsunami, through a regional media relations campaign. Brighter will push discount deals to Thailand, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, the economies of which are heavily dependent on tourism.

Dunne, who will report to Advantage sales and marketing director Colin O’Neill, said: ‘If you want to contribute towards helping the region, going on holiday there is one of the best ways to do it. It gives the local people work.’

Parts of the coast have been devastated, but other areas have not been affected by the disaster, he added.

Travel specialist Brighter saw off incumbent Porter Novelli and Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster in a pitch for the account.

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