By way of introduction, this blog comes from Janet Galbraith, based at the Specialist Holiday Group in Crawley.
I’ll admit I’ve never written for a blog before and I’m not really sure what to write! So here goes. My first placement is within the Specialist Division, working for the Short-haul Purchasing team. These guys contract all the hotels for Sovereign, Citalia and Meon; three brands who specialise in luxury villa and hotel stays within traditional Mediterranean destinations (Spain, Balearics, Turkey, Greece and so on) as well as North Africa and some other resorts further afield; Citalia deals specifically with holidays in Italy.
I’ll be completely honest and admit that the idea of spending the day talking about Tenerife and Majorca was not something that initially filled me with joy; the desire to avoid mainstream destinations traditionally associated with the package holiday industry was one of the reasons I applied for a scheme centered on niche market brands. That said, only a week in I’m already enjoying spending time in the office and really seeing how useful this placement will be in learning more about what TUI does, and the travel industry in general. My team are involved in contracting high-end accommodation and work with some of the most beautiful hotels in these resorts; their role involves extensive negotiation and coordination between lots of parts of the business and the suppliers.
The Specialist Holiday Group (which includes the brands I am working with) has recently been merged with the Activity Sector, and now forms part of one division alongside the Ski division. SHG is now undergoing quite a bit of restructuring which is meaning it is an interesting time to be working with them. I think that in the long-term it will be a fantastic move; everyone knows that perceptions of traditional flight-transfer-hotel holidays are changing and I think adding the experience of existing staff to other employees with a less mainstream background will help the brands to find ways to differentiate from their competitors.
I haven’t yet got started on my actual projects… will update you next week!