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Thai Fam tripHello and welcome to the April edition of The Sandra Leach Company newsletter.

I have just returned from the sunny shores of Thailand where I have been hosting a week long agent familiarisation trip. We had seven tour operator partners from the UK on board the trip which was made possible thanks to fantastic support from Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, and Asia World.

It is the first time we have ran a dedicated SLC fam trip to Thailand, and indeed the first time I have led a fam trip anywhere, so it brings me great pleasure to the report that the trip went without incident and was heartily enjoyed by all! The weather really pulled out all the stops with hot, sunny and mainly dry days followed on a couple of occasions by spectacular thunder and lightning shows of an evening. A Thailand thunder storm really is something to behold.

Our seven night itinerary took in six of the SLC Thailand hotels, giving us enough time to relax, unwind, and soak up all that each of the properties has to offer. We saw this as a real benefit as this gave everyone enough time to experience each resort as a customer would, with enough time to sample the food, service, accommodation and amenities at each hotel.

It's safe to say that each of the properties pulled out all the stops for us as we were spoilt with everything from limousines to champagne arrivals, private pool villas to cooking classes, turtle releases on the beach to lavishly hosted dinners; we really were treated like celebrities! A big thank you to all of the hotels for hosting such memorable stays, with hospitality that was unmistakably Thai.

Pictures were posted throughout the week on the SLC Facebook page and there will be more to follow in the coming weeks as the sorting of hundreds of images begins! Watch this space for more and please do get in touch with any questions on our Thailand property portfolio.

Looking ahead to April we have a busy month with the Tourism Western Australia European workshops taking place, the Orientis DMC fam trip jetting off to China, and of course the late Easter break.

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter and a great month ahead.

The SLC team.

Hello and welcome to our March newsletter

Charlotte ITBWith the years trade shows already under way I headed out to Berlin last week for ITB. This annual event is the largest in Europe and gathers together thousands of buyers and consumers from across the world. A number of our clients were being represented at ITB, and on the first day of the show I was joined by Mark, who carried out meetings for Tadrai and Sonaisali, whilst I was located in the Tourism Australia stand concentrating on Mantra, Crown, and Thala. Aside from all of the Tourism Asutralia's happy hour, and Tourism Fiji's end of day drinks we had some great feedback about all of our products, and most encouraging were the reports from operators about how their business to Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific is starting to boom once again! I was certainly glad to have the weekend in Berlin to recover from an exhausting but exciting first ITB experience!

Hello and welcome to our February newsletter.

AnthonyNow that 2014 is well underway, we here at The Sandra Leach Company have been laying down the foundations for another successful year.

I have been managing our annual training plan and the account managers have been filling up dates across the calendar quickly already! If you would like training on any of our clients don't hesitate to email me on anthony@sandraleach.co.uk .

There is an exciting few months coming up, with several trade shows in the offing. Firstly, the ITB trade show in Berlin will be taking place on the 5-9th March and will be attended by Charlotte and Mark and a number of our clients. Please let us know on info@sandraleach.co.uk if you would like to set up appointments for:

Thailand - The Santhiya Resorts & Spa, Rayavadee & Tamarind Village, and The AHMS Hotels

Australia - Thala Beach Lodge, Crown Hotels and The Mantra Group

Fiji – Sonaisali Island Resort and Tadrai Island Resort

India - Creative Travel

Europe - Karavan Travel & Louis Cruises

There is then the PATA Exchange 2014, which will be held at Central Hall, Westminster, London on the 10th March, and the 7th annual Unite Pacific & Australasia event on the 11st March – you can find us in the exhibitor listings for both of these events to request appointments.

Have a brilliant month ahead! Anthony and the SLC team.

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Hello and welcome to our January newsletter.

SLC TEAMHappy New Year from all of us at SLC! We have had a fantastic start to 2014 with new client Daydream Island Resort and Spa starting with us this month – read more on them below. We have also resumed our full service with Shinta Mani Siem Reap after our initial launch earlier in the year.

I was lucky enough to attend ILTM in Cannes last month, where the feeling for luxury travel in 2014 was extremely positive. The Telegraph agrees, and has predicted a pick-up in a number of regions where we have clients: Bodrum in Turkey, where Karavan Travel can book you into the new Mandarin Oriental; Greece where new BA flights to Mykonos and Santorini will make it even easier to join a Louis Cruise; and China where a number of new hotels are opening up new destinations where Orientis DMC have great expertise. "Immersive" and "experiential" travel will continue to be industry buzz words, and we know our clients are always looking for ways to make your customers experience that little bit more special.

Read the full article on http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/travel/19737/travel-trends-2014-new-frontiers open-up.html , and wishing you all a happy and successful 2014 ahead! Gill and the SLC team.

Hello and welcome to our December newsletter

MarkMy name is Mark and I am the newest member of the team. I joined last Thursday and my first few days have been very busy getting to know all of my new work colleagues and learning all of the new systems.

I have worked for Trailfinders for the last 12 years. I started at Trailfinders’ flagship store in High Street Kensington and was lucky enough to work in every Trailfinders Travel Centre in London during my 12 years with the Company. My last role with Trailfinders was Assistant Sales Manager in their City Travel Centre. I have a real passion for Travel and have been very lucky to visit a large number of different countries.

My role at the Sandra Leach Company is to manage the Wimbledon Team. I will be working very closely with Clare, Josie, Lee and Charlotte helping them in all aspects of their roles. Alongside this I will be managing accounts of my own and helping running the company day to day.

I am really looking forward to working with you all very closely over the coming weeks, months and years and hopefully I will get to meet you all soon.

In the meantime, I hope you all have an enjoyable and relaxing Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Here’s to a fantastic 2014!

Hello and welcome to our November newsletter.

 

Louis cruises Fam tripKalimera!

Before the storms came and winter set in here in the UK, Louis Cruises offered 18 lucky agents a chance to soak up the sun in the Eastern Mediterranean, and join them on the Louis Olympia for a long weekend '4 Greek Islands & Turkey' cruise!

Sailing from Piraeus, Athens, everyone is welcomed with a 'Kalimera' and a warm smile. From the food offered on board, to the varied entertainments, the Louis Olympia offers an authentic Greek experience, but it's the unique four and five day itineraries, visiting some of the most iconic Greek islands, that really makes this cruise so special.

Account Managers, Josephine Ball (Louis Cruises) and Charlotte Dent (Karavan Travel) escorted the group and were particularly impressed with all the shore excursions, taking in the highlights of each destination with authenticity and variety. The island of Patmos was one of Josie's favourite places, "our guide took us to a mountainside grotto, said to be the place where John the Apostle wrote the Book of Revelations - seeped in history and spirituality, this island feels special. And of course, as you wander the around the village of Hora, you're treated to some of the most stunning views of the Aegean". Another favourite for the whole group was Oia, Santorini - quite possibly one of the best places to watch the sun melt into the Mediterranean waters and a photographer's dream!

photo 3

Hello and welcome to our October newsletter.

I am Charlotte the newest Account Manager to join the SLC team, and this is my first newsletter so I thought I would say a quick hello to everyone and give a little introduction, and what I have been up to in my first two months.

As the newest Account Manager in the company I am very happy to be dealing with some fantastic accounts, which include Mantra Group, Crown Hotels, Creative Travel, and Karavan Travel. I am very excited about being part of their team and offering a professional service throughout the UK and Europe. So my first two months have flown by, in whirl of introductory phone calls and emails. I have already been out and about doing store training, and meeting with some key operators. With brochure sign offs almost at an end I am very excited about seeing some of the final results, and getting involved in the next big event, WTM. Hopefully I will see you all there!

Hello & Welcome to our August Newsletter

Helen with turtleEveryone asks if it's scary, swimming with a whale shark. Thrilling, yes, squeal-inducing, of course, but there is also something serene about gliding through the water with the ocean's biggest fish. Slow flicks of its tail propel it at a pace which shows off the jaw-dropping size and beautiful spots – like a sun-dappled patch of ocean.

I was in Western Australia's Coral Coast escorting a group of travel and wildlife journalists. They had high expectations of Ningaloo Reef, editors to satisfy and lifelong dreams to fulfil. As the spotter plane buzzed overhead, five faces looked at me expectedly.

Luckily, our practice snorkel eased the tension. As the crew from Ocean Eco Adventures checked everyone's snorkelling skills, we had our eyes locked downwards, ticking off turtles, sting rays and electric blue stag coral. Then when the first whale shark shout went up, we lined up and slipped into the water like obedient penguins, clumsy in our excitement. Peering into the gloom, we wondered if we'd missed our chance, when suddenly there it was. Straight ahead, twice the length of a family hatchback, its mouth an enormous O. The initial surprise was quickly followed by glee and urgent photo-taking. The photographers needn't have worried. We swam with six giants in total, only coaxed back on the boat with the promise of a gourmet lunch and humpback whale watching – July is a great month for combining both at Ningaloo Reef.

Over four days we swan with turtles daily, manta rays, hundreds of tropical fish and saw humpback whales breaching mere metres from our boat. Swimming with the whale sharks was undoubtedly an adrenalin-charged highlight but visitors should also seek out Sail Ningaloo, a luxury catamaran offering 3 or 5 day liveaboards out of Coral Bay. Skipper Luke knows the best snorkelling spots on the whole reef. Cape Range National Park is also a must. Wildlife-lovers can add emus, kangaroos and rock-wallabies to their spotted list. As one of the journalists said 'surely this has to be one of the best places to explore down under'.

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