Celebrating 30 Years of Short Breaks
SuperBreak Men Relaunch With Bigger Brochure [click to open/close]
British Rail's recently privatised SuperBreak Holidays programme has been extended and re-launched by new owners Dunn Miller Associates.
Former British Transport Hotels' employees Christopher Dunn and Gordon Miller have boosted the number of hotels in the new brochure from 34 to 83 and added 37 new locations, including Wales for the first time.
More than 50% of SuperBreak Holidays are to London with the number of hotel beds in the capital upped from 1,500 to 4,000. Before, many bookings were turned down due to lack of accommodation, Dunn and Miller claim. "We hope to operate a policy of never refusing a booking because of lack of beds." they say.
There are free holidays for children under 16, no single room supplements and a large golf programme featuring 18 hotels. A summer golf break to the Old Course Hotel, St Andrews, costs £39.75 per night half board, plus £9 green fees.
'Sneak-a-Week' five, six- and seven-day holidays are geared to "those who want a short break, but longer than the conventional two or three days." Example prices for seven-day breaks including dinner and bed and breakfast are £126 for Aviemore, £145 for Bournemouth, £175 for Bognor Regis and £250 at the Turnberry Hotel, Ayr.
D M A claims to have simplified its brochure by putting prices alongside each holiday description "rather than continually referring to other pages to make up a price package."
Despite the changes, the new company is out to preserve the existing SuperBreak identity. "It is important that the travel trade and the public recognise SuperBreak "as a dependable continuing product," the company says. It points out that the new SuperBreak is being run by the same management and staff.
Brochure production has been stepped up from 800,000 to 1.5m and distribution to the trade has been extended throughout the country. Bookings can also be made at British Rail travel centres and booking offices.
Superbreaks To Use 49 More Hotels [click to open/close]
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 24.3.83
Less than a month after buying British Transport Hotels' Superbreaks holidays, Dunn Miller Associates has produced a new mini-holidays programme.
Joint managing directors Christopher Dunn and Gordon Miller have lost no time in implementing the "dramatic improvements and expansions" they promised when they took over the SuperBreak programme. They include:
- Number of hotels up from 34 to 83
- Number of locations up from 27 to 64
- Free holidays for children under 16
- No single supplements
- A new "Sneak-a-Week" programme in 22 hotels which is longer than the usual two- or three-day mini holidays
- No-booking-refused policy
The deal is launched in a "price-at-a-glance" brochure and features among the new hotels such as de-luxe properties as London's Athenaeum, offered at £33 a night bed and breakfast any day of the week, compared with the normal tariff of £54.50.
The new package is still based on the BTH group, even though all but three of the 23 hotels were recently sold. But now the programme covers the whole of the UK, including, for the first time, Wales.
Mr Dunn said "We chose locations in close consultation with British Rail." More than 50 per cent of the SuperBreak holidays are to London where Dunn Miller has increased the number of available beds from 1,500 to 4,000. The new company felt many bookings were turned down in the past because of lack of London accommodation.
The brochure also includes the chance for holidaymakers to play golf at some of the British Championship courses, offering a choice of 18 hotels instead of the previous six.
Dunn Miller's SuperBreak Success [click to open/close]
Travel Bulletin 27.5.83
One of the tourism industry's few uninterrupted success stories over the past several years has been the growth of the short holiday break - primarily weekend holidays in the UK.
And when British Transport Hotel came to be sold off, two of its employees - Christopher Dunn and Gordon Miller - were confident enough about the continuing success of mini-holidays that they formed their own company to market them.
Dunn Miller Associates Ltd is now marketing short breaks to 83 hotels in the 64 locations throughout the UK in its year-round 1983 SuperBreak Mini-Holidays brochure.
The hotels featured are made up of ex-BTH properties together with other group and independent hotels to offer a comprehensive range around Britain including 12 hotels in London. Rank and Prestige are amongst the groups featured.
Although the autumn months are traditionally the main period for short breaks, according to Christopher Dunn, with around two-thirds of the business at this time, Dunn Miller is seeing "an enormous growth for this summer. The pressure of life is making short breaks more and more popular and amongst a very wide social class spread. In the future, the OAP market will be one of the biggest groups in the population and this will boost mini-holidays still further".
On the retail side, Dunn Miller's Superbreaks programme is already a preferred brand of Thomas Cook, Pickfords, Renwicks, Co-op Travel, A.T.Mays/Nairn Travel and Exchange with further listings expected to follow.
Agents' commission is 10% and agency bookings have already increased to more than 40% of the total with the bulk of the rest coming via British Rail.
Christopher Dunn believes that brochure supply is a key factor in the company's success. Dunn-Miller recently appointed Flockvale Ltd. to handle its distribution and it has a data bank of the likely demand pattern from branches. "By the end of the season we will have distributed 1.5 million brochures".
Dunn-Miller's aim to provide the "best booking service of anyone" is another aspect aiding the growth of agency sales, believes Christopher Dunn. Superbreaks picks up bookings because the 'phone is answered more quickly and agents like our girls. The bulk of the staff have had at least three years' experience."
Agents' primary contact is Pat Dixon who is Dunn Miller's Sales Reservations Supervisor. She has some 14 years' of experience in the mini-holidays market and is already well known to many agents.
Heading the team which liaises with retailers is Peter Hawkins - SuperBreak Manager - who will be in charge of Dunn Miller's developing programme of agency servicing. In addition to regionally based servicing contracts, agents will also have a head office contact for problem solving as well as organising educationals and training.
Dunn Miller is in fact planning an extensive programme of educationals for agents. The plan is to give agency staff one night in a hotel with half board, entirely free of charge and a reduced rate for a companion. This scheme is due to start about now and will run all through the year except for July and August. In addition, Dunn Miller will host a series of major educationals with the takeover of a hotel plus some entertainment and presentations thrown in.
With bookings currently running more than 60% better than last year, Christopher Dunn's optimism seems well founded. "I see a steady growth in the mini holiday market and a dramatic growth for Dunn Miller".
As well as a wide range of country, city and coastal mini holiday options, the 24-page full colour SuperBreak Mini-Holiday brochure also includes some special golf packages and 'Sneak-a-week' extended holidays.
Each of the 83 hotels featured is priced individually and is also incorporated into an easy to read grid for rail-inclusive prices. This clearly shows a breakdown between summer and winter prices and between the bargain rate (which must include a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night) and Standard rate (available on any day of the week).
Special features in the programme include arrangements for children under 16 when sharing a room with two adults. Extra children under 16 sharing or in separate accommodation are charged at half price plus £1.50 per night per child.
Mini-holiday prices range from £17 per person with half board in London or from £42 for two nights in the summer season including rail travel from the Home Counties. A similar deal from northern England is from £58.
Other one-night half board prices are £36.25 in the Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor; £27.50 in the Lythe Hill Hotel, Haslemere, Surrey; £24 in the Tregenna Castle Hotel, St. Ives, Cornwall; and £27.25 in the Lochalsh Hotel, Kyle of Lochalsh in the Scottish Highlands.
For the future, Dunn Miller plans to offer holidays overseas in 1984 although not under the SuperBreak banner. The company also intends to apply for ABTA membership within the next few weeks.
Christopher Dunn says that the company "has taken a commitment to join ABTA. We have followed the fortunes of ABTA for some years and whatever its sins or omissions, we believe that we should be in it so that we can work to improve the Association from the inside."
In the same way, Dunn Miller is working right from the inside to improve the mini holiday product and early indications show that the company is enjoying at least its fair share, and probably some more besides, in the burgeoning mini break market.
In fact, by the end of this year, Dunn Miller expects to have carried more than 70,000 people on its SuperBreak programme.
For copies of the SuperBreak brochure, or for reservations contact SuperBreak Mini-Holidays, St. Pancras Chambers, Euston Road, London NW1 2TU, tel 01-278 9646 for reservations or 01-278 4211 for brochures.
Travel Trade Takes to SuperBreak Mini Holidays [click to open/close]
In the highly competitive short break holiday market, SuperBreak Mini Holidays have scored a major success in being designated as a 'preferred brand' by a number of major multiples.
Thirty-six operators offer short break holidays, and it is no longer possible to give full display facilities to all of them.
So major multiples have singled out those to receive preferential treatment both in display and in selling.
At the time of writing, those who have chosen SuperBreak Mini Holidays as a preferred brand are:
- Thomas Cook
- A T Mays/Nairn Travel
- Co-op Travel
- Exchange Travel
- Scotway Group
- Powell Duffryn
DMA are delighted that, after just a few months of trading, their programme is being accepted by the travel industry as one of the prime products in the short break market.
"The retail market place has become highly competitive with many programmes screaming for display space at customer level" says DMA's Joint Managing Director Christopher Dunn.
'Our nomination as a preferred brand will mean a high profile for SuperBreak Mini Holidays where it counts - right in front of the buyer'.
The main SuperBreak Mini Holiday points that have captured the acceptance of the trade include:
- The wide range of locations. Over sixty are now offered, giving SuperBreak Mini Holidays one of the most comprehensive location spreads.
- High number of hotels in the packages.
- The quality of the product.
- Flexibility of operation.
- Easy to read brochure.
DMA believe the high profile that will result from being a preferred brand will mean a heavy demand for brochures, and point out that anyone requiring further supplies should contact SuperBreak direct on 01-833 0241.
SuperBreak Pays Off For Former BTH Duo [click to open/close]
Rail-break specialist SuperBreak Mini Holidays steams into its second year of operation this week with a new 15-month, "bigger and better" programme and an impressive agency sales track record.
The company, now owned and run by two former British Transport Hotels executives Christopher Dunn and Gordon Miller, has virtually doubled bookings to 45,000 since it was sold off by British Rail last February. It expects to sell around 65,000 this year.
"What used to be just a topping up exercise for BTH has become a fully-fledged tour operation," says Dunn.
According to him, agents have played a large part in the success story and now firmly replace BR as the company's main bookings source.
"We are in a better position than most hotel groups when it comes to packaging UK mini-breaks," Dunn says. "Most groups own one or two hotels which are in unsuitable locations for the mini-break market but are forced to put them in the brochure. We can choose the right destinations."
In 1984 SuperBreak will be branching further away from the original BTH network by introducing 47 new hotels in 39 new locations.
There are now 20 hotels in London where the company is offering discount vouchers at 100 attractions and restaurants. Prices here start at £17 per person per night for bed and breakfast.
New features for 1984 include special car hire arrangements with Godfrey Davis Europcar with pick-up at most hotels and 72 BR stations and split breaks for travellers at major airports and ferry terminals.
One night can be taken before departure and the second on return.
SuperBreak Set To Switch On Service System [click to open/close]
SuperBreak Mini-Holidays is celebrating the launch of its second brochure since becoming independent from British Rail with the promise of a better service to retail agents through the introduction of an £80,000 computer system.
The new system will replace the company's existing one when SuperBreak moves to new London premises at the end of March.
Mr Gordon Miller, joint managing director of parent company Dunn Miller Associaters, told TTG that the facility would mean a faster service for the trade by providing greater flexibility.
"It will enable us to have all the information at our fingertips," he said.
"If the date of travel is most important to the customer or if the hotel of his choice is already fully booked, the computer will allow us to give the agent all the alternatives straight away."
The new brochure - which runs for 15 months and deliberately overlaps the existing one to allow retailers to replace stock immediately - features 130 hotels in 103 UK destinations as opposed to 91 properties in 67 destinations last year.
SuperBreak is aiming to sell 100,000 holidays in 1984 - a 33 per cent increase on last year. Fifty per cent of all bookings are through agents with most of the rest via BR travel offices.
London breaks account for more than 50 per cent of all sales. This year the number of properties offered in the capital has been increased by four to 20. Prices start at £17 per night, including VAT and breakfast, and a range of "extras" include 30 discount vouchers offering an average saving of ten per cent at over 100 London restaurants and attractions.
Rail-inclusive packages are available from throughout the UK. Sample price is £49 for two nights at the Norfolk Hotel, South Kensington, with second class rail travel from the Birmingham area.
Elsewhere, new destinations include Colwyn Bay, Woodstock, St Mawes and Norwich. Sample price is £69 for two nights at the North British Hotel in Edinburgh with second class return rail fare from the South of England.