After working as a Personal Travel advisor and finding that it was difficult to progress as far as he wanted in that situation, Gary Pridmore and his partner decided to start the brand Aquilium Travel by joining a consortium. After researching numerous options, Co-op Travel Consortium’s strong buying power kept him and his partners with Midcounties Co-operative. Gary said that Co-op Travel Consortium’s team is always on hand to help with issues including compliance, law changes, and licensing, and that having the backing of Midcounties Co-operative is reassuring to Aquilium Travel’s customers.
Aquilium Travel began in February 2017 after Personal Travel Advisor Gary Pridmore decided that he wanted to expand and take on staff. As a personal travel advisor you are generally expected to operate as a single member, so in order to start a new travel brand it was necessary to join a consortium.
Gary and his joint venture partners were introduced to Alison Holmes, Head of Co-op Travel Consortium. Gary and his team recognised the strength of Co-op Travel Consortium’s buying power, so after joining, Aquilium Travel was launched as a luxury travel agency. They are based in Cheshire, and aim to provide personal, bespoke holiday experiences to their customers including the option for business and first class travel, private chauffeur service, private jets, and private yacht charters.
Aquilium Travel has been able to develop independently and without restriction, yet has had the knowledge and experience of the Co-op Travel Consortium head office to help guide them in their development. Gary Pridmore believes that they have saved money on legal advice by using the Coop Travel Consortium as a resource whenever they have encountered issues such as credit card changes, GDPR compliance, and the new travel directive that came into action on July 1st, 2018.
Before Aquilium Travel launched it was Co-op Travel Consortium’s buying power that attracted Gary and his partners, as he says that in commercial terms the Co-op Travel Consortium has the edge over other companies he researched. Gary also says that since joining the Co-op Travel Consortium, Aquilium Travel’s commission has increased by 30%.
Gary’s experience with Co-op Travel Consortium has been so satisfying and beneficial that he has already made a referral for another company that has come to fruition.