Two North West entrepreneurs have joined forces to scale up an online luxury travel agency through technology.

Jennifer Atkinson, former chief executive of Chester-based ITC Travel Group, has teamed up with serial entrepreneur and founder of Manchester customer acquisition specialist Blume, Dez Derry, to invest and grow Travel Seen.

Launched in 2021, Travel Seen was founded with an initial investment from Liverpool-based PE firm Arete Capital.

The travel agency matches holidaymakers to destinations through social media influencer content and aims to build the largest most engaged social following in travel and develop tech-enabled lead management system.

Travel Seen inspires bookings using experience-led content from influencers who have been chosen based on their compatibility with holidaymaker search history and social media activity.

Atkinson said:  “Creating a holiday business from scratch during a global pandemic has not been without its challenges.

“Travel Seen was born out of my burnout lessons,” said Atkinson. “I think travel is massively important for mental health, and when holidays were taken away from us during the pandemic, it really contributed to the utter exhaustion so many felt.

“We look forward to creating something unique within the sector we both love.”

Social media travel company to take off

Derry, who has made a name for himself spearheading a customer acquisition specialist in the legal sector space, will continue working with Blume, but will be joining the Travel Seen board as a founding partner along with existing partners.

Derry said: “I’ve well and truly laid my towel on the Travel Seen sunbed. Travel is a new industry for me, but this was a great opportunity to get my teeth into something different and draw on my lead generation and tech experience to attract new customers and expand on what Jen and the team have already set up.”

The pair are planning several other improvements to Travel Seen’s tech, including greater use of AI.

Since leaving the ITC Travel Group at the end of 2020, Atkinson has built a portfolio career, as a non-executive director for several North West businesses

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