Trailfinders in drive to shed backpacker image

Long-haul operator Trailfinders has called in Hills Balfour as it seeks to shed its image as a backpackers’ favourite and promote its deals on hotels, car hire and first-class flights.

Hills Balfour won a five-way pitch, which culminated in a two-way shootout against PRCo, to scoop a 12-month consumer and trade PR contract.

The agency is to launch what it has dubbed a ‘media club’ – a quarterly get-together for Trailfinders staff and invited journalists to discuss travel trends – and is intending to offer selected journalists discounts on hotels booked through Trailfinders.

The PR campaign’s core message is to promote ‘product diversity’ and ‘customer service quality’, said PR director Jonathan Sloan, who reports to marketing director Charlie Bateson.

* Travel Counsellors, which uses 450 advisers who work from home, has hired BGB Communications as its first PR agency.

BGB will initially promote its Travel Counsellors Trust, set up last year to offer financial protection against the collapse of suppliers, such as airlines.

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