Gary Bates

Trade Partnership Manager

How did you start in the travel industry?

I’ve been in the travel industry since I was 17 years old. My first job was a brochure boy, which involved making sure the agency I worked at had enough brochures on the shelves. It was a big store!

I’ve been lucky enough to work in most sectors of the industry including being a travel agent and holiday rep, along with roles within commercial, sales, product and yield teams, to the account management role I’m in today. I joined ITC in 2019 as I was impressed by the heritage, the name and the company’s reputation. I’m very passionate about the industry; it’s very much in my blood and I’m always trying to make a difference in whatever role I take on.

What do you like most about working with the trade team?

I’m very proud to work for a small, but very strong and experienced team. With hard work, we’ve been able to reach many new agents and are always ensuring our key partners are well looked after.

What does ITC mean for our trade partners?

Because of how unique we are, we can give something new and fresh to the trade. For example, an agent might already have a tour operator they use for luxury, but we still have Rainbow, Regent or Spectate who they could book with. Our excellent portfolio is really helping us make in-roads with the trade market.

To us, communication is key and coming along really well through our Facebook Trade page and weekly newsletters. Our agents certainly have confidence in what we’re doing, and we’re starting to see more and more new agents coming to join us.

What’s your favourite destination?

I was lucky enough to visit Oman four years ago. I toured the whole country and loved the friendly and welcoming people and the incredible energy they had. The scenery is also amazing – the mountain ranges and deserts are extraordinary!