Computerised travel agency kiosks across the UK’s network of more than 9,000 sub post offices are to be installed by Scottish travel group Minoan.
The company will operate the kiosks under the brand name Postcard Travel under its Stewart Travel division.
It aims to set up a minimum of 1,000 kiosks over the next five years.
An initial three month pilot phase will see up to 50 kiosks installed across local, largely market town-based sub post offices, with a further 50 then being added every three months.
Each unmanned kiosk will comprise two computer screens, displaying the holiday offers and a keyboard and touch screen facility allowing customers to browse the market and choose their holiday with just four touches.
The current footfall across the sub post office network is more than 10 million customers a week.
Most sub postmasters run their Post Office business under the same roof as another retail business. In urban areas this is often a newsagent or stationery business and in rural areas it is, typically, a village shop.
Minoan chief executive Duncan Wilson said: “This agreement with the National Federation of Sub Postmasters will enhance significantly our national position within the travel agency business.
“We believe this venture has great potential for value creation through the increased scale, synergies and growth of combining our Stewart Travel brand and online expertise with the scale of the sub post office network and the enthusiasm, hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of local sub post office owner managers.
“In addition, it will provide the public at large with greater access to a wider range of holiday destinations, especially for those in more rural locations and with limited access to the mainstream high street and, often, restricted access to online services.
“This venture should help local sub post office owners to grow their businesses and continue with the provision of Post Office services that underpin much of the country.”
He added: “We believe the initiative will also provide a welcome stimulus to the economy at a time when the high street generally is coming under increasing pressure, resulting in the closure of a wide range of retail services particularly within rural towns.
“The significant customer base of the sub post offices gives the Group a fantastic platform from which to build and we are confident that reciprocal growth of both our travel kiosks and the affiliated sub post offices will be achieved.”
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