Kuoni UK contracts manager-Asia, Australasia, cruise, Darren Lancaster, has left the company after a decade to set up his own company, One World - Travel Sales & Marketing.
Lancaster said of his move: “I was with Kuoni for 10 years, primarily contracting Asia on behalf of Kuoni UK, but also within that three years were spent contracting additionally on behalf of the other European outbound Kuoni offices. As such, I have a wide spread of knowledge of the European market to Asia.
Lancaster: More room to shape own company
“Kuoni is a great company that has taught me so much, so it was a very hard decision to leave. But after 10 years there I decided that I wanted to put the knowledge that I had built up contracting Asia to wider use.
“In effect this means I no longer work to grow business to Asia for just one outbound operator, but instead I work hand in hand with many operators across the UK to support them in growing their business to Asia.”
Being on his own also means he can have control over choice of partners, working with those that appeal to the UK and European markets.
Lancaster said: “If I don’t think a partner is right for the UK and European markets, I will advise them so and not take their money. Secondly, running my own company gives me the freedom to direct the future size and shape of the company in the way I want it, at the pace I want it.”
Currently, these partners include The Diamond Cliff Resort & Spa, Phuket; The Soori Bali, The Elysian and the Bulgari Resort Bali; and Naman Retreat in Vietnam. But Lancaster is particularly keen to grow his company’s presence in Thailand, thanks to “a long history of very productive and profitable relationships between partners and UK-based representatives”.
“I also plan to expand the representation outside of the UK, to include more European source markets. This will allow me to deliver a more coordinated pan-European approach to my clients, which they have been asking for already,” he told TTG Asia.
Meanwhile, Jennie Moore has replaced Lancaster at Kuoni UK.