The Co-operative Travel agents are to sell their company’s own package holidays as a result of an exclusive joint venture with Cosmos Holidays.
New tour operator Co-operative Holidays will launch in early summer for summer 2010, offering summer and winter sun holidays in the eastern and western Mediterranean, with some longhaul destinations such as Florida and Mexico.
It will have its own ATOL licence and ABTA bond and carry more than 15,000 passengers.
The Co-operative Travel Group commercial director Shaun Hinds said: “It is based on the premise that a lot of our customers are traditional package holiday customers. It’s already a staple that we sell.”
Hinds admitted bookings for other operators sold through its shops could be affected but said it hopes to attract a new customer base of younger holidaymakers, in part as a result of its parent company’s £70 million advertising campaign to promote all of the group’s products.
Product will not be “dumped” on the market and flights will be offered on a range of existing regional routes, using mainly Monarch aircraft. “It’s about using existing capacity,” said Hinds.
Holidays will also have an ethical and sustainable tourism elemement, offering carbon neutral offsetting and “green rated” hotels.
In future Co-operative Holidays could be offered for sale through other travel agencies, he added.
“There could be a day when you walk into Thomas Cook and see a Co-operatives Holidays brochure,” he said.
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