2024 heralds a year of strategic growth!
Red Elephant Reps offer to their clients the knowledge and insight necessary to make informed decisions that drive tangible results. In 2024, they have welcomed several additions, including Panhou Retreat and Whale Island Resort in Vietnam to their portfolio of well-liked hotels and resorts.
Having travelled to over 80 destinations and with his vast experience, Chris Crampton, MD Europe, Red Elephant Reps and Chairman of PATA UK & Ireland Chapter, believes that travel and working in this ever-evolving sector should always be made enjoyable. In an interview with Brand TD, he shares more.
Brand TD: With your industry experience and wealth of market insights, kindly share with us what you offer as a representative of Red Elephant Reps in the European market?
Chris Crampton (CC): We work closely with our clients, seamlessly integrating ourselves as an invaluable extension of their team. As seasoned professionals with many years of experience in the tourism market we have acquired an extensive network of tourism and media contacts. What sets us apart is our ability to leverage these well-established connections, opening doors for our clients and enabling us to elevate their visibility. We are also dedicated to enhancing our clients’ commercial awareness. By staying attuned to market trends, anticipating shifts and proactively adapting strategies, we give our clients the knowledge and insight necessary to make informed decisions that drive tangible results.
In a nutshell, our approach is not just about providing a service – it’s about cultivating a collaborative partnership that propels our clients towards sustained success in the ever-evolving travel market.
Brand TD: In terms of sales, what is it that Red Elephant Reps brings to the table when representing a hotel or a DMC? What remains on your agenda monthly?
CC: We go beyond mere representation; we immerse ourselves in understanding our clients’ needs, actively contributing to the growth of their business in the market. Central to our approach is crafting the right kind of business strategy tailored to their goals. Monthly, we proactively engage in sales activities, from personalised sales calls to attending travel shows and events – in order to keep our clients, and ourselves, abreast of our latest offerings and to address inquiries. We work closely with our marketing team which amplifies brand awareness through strategic channels such as social media, newsletters, eblasts and press releases.
Brand TD: Connections and networking are the backbone of sales and marketing, how is Red Elephant Reps able to provide that link? What inspires you to keep motivated in the multifaceted travel world?
CC: We have personal relationships with key industry players, frequently engaging with them in meetings, organised events and informal social settings – the European travel industry is extremely sociable, so networking is inherent. Red Elephant Reps thrives as part of this community, and we have been able to curate a portfolio of well-liked hotels, resorts and DMCs through actively listening to their preferences. Our success lies in understanding and meeting the industry’s needs, building relationships and fostering trust.
Brand TD: In a post Covid era, ongoing war and economic uncertainties, what remain the main challenges of growing business in Europe? How is 2024 looking for Red Elephant Reps in the European Market?
CC: Despite the ongoing uncertainties, there is now a degree of normality in the European travel market and it is a time for recovery. As Red Elephant Reps celebrates its 12th anniversary, 2024 heralds a year of strategic growth. We are committed to enhancing global outreach and have already expanded our European sales team in order to better serve our clients. The expansion aligns seamlessly with our mission to fortify our portfolio of unique hotels and destination management companies. From 1st January 2024, we have welcomed several additions, including Panhou Retreat and Whale Island Resort in Vietnam. These hidden gems prioritise responsible and sustainable travel, emphasising minimal environmental impact, cultural respect and support for local economies.
Brand TD: Can you share with us a little bit about your role as the Chairman of PATA UK & Ireland Chapter? What is your vision in that role?
CC: The role is a voluntary role, which I have held for the past seven years – making me the longest serving UK & Ireland Chapter Chairman. The position gives me a platform and opportunity to give back to an industry that has given me so much over the years. Our task is to help promote the whole industry to the region, working alongside tourist boards and suppliers to generate interest and awareness across the trade. We have a board and committee made up of people across the world of travel, who offer us their valuable time and expertise. We educate, inform and above all else, try to make what we do fun – because travel should always be enjoyable! Providing cost-effective ways of allowing companies and tourist offices to reach the travel trade is essential in a market where we are competing for attention with other destinations.
Brand TD: Going forward, what kind of travel trends do you foresee in 2024? How will the sales and marketing landscape scale-up in 2024 in Europe?
CC: Air access and pricing has been one of the biggest challenges as we recover from the Covid era. It is now starting to return to sufficient mass to allow prices to come down and make the whole region more accessible. In general, 2024 will be a year of continued progress and improvement, particularly in the destinations that were a little slower to recover from the Covid shutdowns. Travellers do want value for money, but that doesn’t mean cheap, and the Asia Pacific region is in a strong position to deliver that.