APT appoints Darren Birch as Marketing & CRM Manager

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APT & Travelmarvel has announced the appointment of acclaimed travel industry marketeer, Darren Birch, to the role of Marketing & CRM Manager, UK & Ireland. Birch joined APT at the start of December, and his hire marks the latest investment in a strategic recruitment campaign that has seen the river cruise, yachting and touring specialist grow its UK headcount by 30% in recent months.

Reporting to Katie Elson, Head of Marketing, Birch will oversee APT & Travelmarvel’s marketing and CRM team day-to-day, bringing the operator’s dynamic B2B and B2C campaigns and a suite of exciting new product to market in 2024, and designing activations to build brand recognition and equity.

With him, Birch brings a wealth of travel, cruise and agent-facing industry experience. His impressive CV includes Sales Manager positions with Virgin Holidays, an eight-year tenure at Emerald Cruises as UK Brand Manager and Global Brand Manager, and, most recently, an interim position with Travel Counsellors as Customer Marketing Manager.

With this combination of experience, Birch has a keen understanding of the travel trade’s unique marketing needs. Joining as APT prepares to launch its key Peaks activity, Birch has hit the ground running. His initial priorities are to ensure that APT & Travelmarvel’s valued partners gain maximum benefit from the most effective campaigns, incentives, tactical offers, assets, and training; helping agents to optimise their sales, improve customer targeting and retention, and grow the volume and profitability of their river cruise and touring business.

Birch and his team will populate the APT Agent Club (www.APTAgentClub.co.uk) with supportive sales, marketing, digital and training materials, as well as keeping the Club’s community of agents informed about fam trips, incentives, and special offers. Agents that haven’t already done so should sign up to the APT Agent Club in December to avoid missing sales-critical Peaks campaign information and assets.

Darren Birch said: “Having watched APT evolve from a newly launched brand in the UK into a major player in the cruise and touring arena, I am excited to have joined such an ambitious and dynamic company. The Marketing & CRM team has done a stellar job, and we have another exciting year ahead of us, thanks to the significant investment that APT & Travelmarvel is making into the diversity of its product, the elevation of its fleet, and the quality of support for the trade. I can’t wait to play my part in APT’s impressive trajectory towards becoming a household name.”



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