£41m backing from parent company
New tour operator Biblio Travel launches in the UK in January 2021, headed by managing director Clare Tobin, former CEO of Olympic Holidays.
Tobin has a strong travel industry background and vast experience in Cyprus, Biblio Travel’s initial target market.
The company will charter aircraft for the UK market, and will fly into the resorts in Cyprus from Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham, with additional capacity on from Heathrow.
The majority of the dedicated UK tour operations staff will be based in Biblio Travel’s head office in Cyprus, with Tobin’s senior management team driving the expansion of UK operations.
Tobin spent the past three years at Olympic Holidays, the independent operator specialising in holidays to Cyprus and Greece. This followed 17 years with TUI Travel/First Choice Group where she held senior board positions. In her earlier career Tobin was responsible for contracting and product enhancement in Cyprus.
Tobin will take full responsibility for Biblio Travel’s UK business and report into the parent company Biblio Globus, the largest DMC in Cyprus and Russia’s largest tour operator.
Tobin said: “I am excited about this opportunity to develop a new UK entrant that will give the trade another operator of quality and choice. Cyprus is a favourite destination for the UK market and is an area that I know and love.
She added “Capacity to Cyprus from the UK market has seen dramatic cuts in the last two seasons with the demise of Thomas Cook and reduction in capacity from other tour operators. Cyprus is a perfect first destination for us to enter the UK market.
“Our buying power and low-cost charters guarantee we will be highly competitive on quality and price. From 5-star boutique properties to 2-star self-catering; well-known favourites to some new properties into the UK market, our breadth of product and knowledge of Cyprus will ensure we will be a comprehensive go-to operator.”
Tobin has recruited Ruth Hilton as deputy managing director and Tina Hodge as sales director. Hilton has more than 25 years’ experience in the travel industry including Airtours, Coop Travel, Gold Medal and The Travel Corporation. She will leave her role as commercial director at TAG to join Biblio Travel while Hodge joins following senior account manager roles at Emirates Holidays, Gold Medal and Thomas Cook.
Travel agency partners
Although Biblio Travel will be launching a B2C website it expects that more than 90% of its sales to come from travel agency partners and is in the process of signing deals to create a distribution network to support its programme. The Biblio Travel packages will be available on the Traveltek platform as well as other trade platforms
A key part of Biblio Travel’s pledge is to offer complete price parity offline to online, while paying attractive commission levels to trade partners, many of whom wish to move away from riskier dynamic packaging options in a Covid-19 impacted travel environment.
Biblio Travel is a subsidiary Russia’s largest and most successful tour operator Biblio Globus, which carries more than three million passengers a year.