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General Manager Back-Roads Touring

Position:                                General Manager Back-Roads Touring        

Reporting to:                         Managing Director (Global Touring)

Location base:                      London

Contract:                                Full Time


About Us

Back-Roads Touring lead the market in small group and tailor-made escorted touring. Offering a unique range of fascinating and leisurely regional tours throughout the UK and Europe, and Asia.

We believe that it is important to understand that we do things differently to most other tour companies. There is so much more to our itineraries than simply taking passengers to the important sights and major cities.

With our small group size our guests experience personally selected accommodation full of character and charm with all the comforts you would expect. You will dine with locals in their restaurants, meet story tellers, and mingle with the characters who so enrich the heritage of their local communities. You will engage with them directly, enhanced by our personable tour leaders.  We call this the Back- Roads Difference.


What we’re looking for from the General Manager:

As part of the Global Touring Leadership Team, the GM of the Back-Roads Brand will play a key role in the growth of the Back-Roads business, as well as contributing to the global direction of this leading small group touring brand.

As an experienced business leader and people motivator, the GM will be the face of Back-Roads and will fully oversee the tour operations, marketing direction, sales strategies, communication with customers and all aspects of people leadership - as well as industry relationships, customer services, financial performance and strategic direction of the Brand.

The GM will work with both the Global Touring team and the Back-Roads team. Leading the implementation of Back-Roads core values, the GM will demonstrate behaviour consistent with the Back-Roads brand and will drive their own Back-Roads global leadership team.

This is a rare and exciting opportunity for a passionate, driven, entrepreneurial leader to be able to step into an established company with strong future growth opportunities. A leader who has the ability to inspire, involve and has proven track record.


Key Responsibilities


  • A natural ability to lead the business towards a common goal and a 5-year vision
  • Provide leadership and strategic direction for all department leaders
  • Develop, motivate and lead a team of savvy travel professionals in London, New York and Brisbane
  • Place emphasis and focus on developing a pipeline of strong leaders within the Back-Roads business to ensure succession plans are in place for all roles
  • Creating a collaborative environment within Back-Roads; ensuring Head Office and Tour Guides work together in delivering life changing travel experiences.
  • Leadership qualities including approachability, engagement and inspiration should be second nature.
  • Deploy development and training programs to ensure brightness of future for all Back-Roads employees
  • Collaborate and work effectively with other businesses and shared services
  • Ensure employees have access to staff benefits, social events and the ability to put forward ideas and thoughts to better individuals and the local and global company
  • Ensure effective incentive and remuneration structures across all departments
  • Ensure monthly, quarterly and yearly business planning and workshops across all departments


Sales, Marketing and Customer Service:

  • In conjunction with the Global Heads of Department, work closely with travel agencies, media outlets and local marketing agency partners to drive the Back-Roads business and brand presence
  • Oversee all aspects of marketing, customer/competitor research and brand delivery
  • Increase overall brand awareness across the AU, NZ, US, Canada and UK markets ensuring consistency with global guidelines
  • Develop and maintain strong agency relationships across all markets
  • Ensure consistency of communication through all local platforms including phone, email, online and all external brand messaging
  • Ensuring a Global One Best Way in Sales and Customer services across all offices


Commercial and Financial Responsibility:

  • Working with the Back-Roads Financial Controller and Global Touring Finance Director (London), develop annual budgets and be responsible for the implementation and execution of these, including monthly monitoring and quarterly reforecasts
  • Ensure ongoing development of 1,5 and 10-year business plans and stories for the growth of the Back-Roads and the part that it plays in global growth and direction
  • Develop, in conjunction with the Global Heads of Department, a robust strategy and calendar of activity to ensure competitiveness in the market as well as a commercial profitability focus
  • In conjunction with the Global Heads of Department ensure solid commercial negotiation of all agreements with Trade Agents and Suppliers
  • Ensure management process of yield and pricing is in line with global best practice
  • Provide monthly updates and reporting to the Global Touring SWOT leadership team


Product and Tour Operations:

  • Experience in tour operations and product manufacture is preferred
  • Support all global Operations teams to ensure smooth execution of all Back-Roads tours
  • Drive the product and operations teams to be industry leading in the contracting, supplier relations, training and delivery of all trips, with a One Best Way Tour Operations.
  • Innovate and champion technology driven efficiencies in all aspects of product and operational delivery
  • Assist in the development, innovation and growth of new products, and new product destinations

You will report directly into the Managing Director (London), from time-to-time, you may be asked to undertake other tasks as they are required for other key stakeholders and the Global Touring Group.


Experience, Requirements and Key Behaviours:

  • Previous success in an executive/senior managerial role(s)
  • A strong leader, team motivator and communicator of overall plans and visions
  • Ability to be highly creative whilst driving a strong result
  • Previous Tour operations experience a plus
  • Knowledge of the travel industry and travel agent landscape in various source markets
  • Proven experience in a global team environment
  • Ability to travel frequently both domestically and internationally when required
  • And of course… A passion for all things travel related!
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