Thomas Cook has reaffirmed its commitment to keeping the Cresta tour operation for loyal customers despite the launch of its new City Escapes brand.
The company is adamant that it is not “dropping” the Cresta brand but a spokesman said it would be keeping its “options open” for the brand in the future.
The Cresta website will be retained – although it will no longer produce a brochure – and will operate separately from Thomas Cook City Escapes, which will target new customers and those who were unaware that Cook had a city break offering.
A spokesman said: “The Cresta standalone site and the City Escapes pages on thomascook.com will operate on two different platforms and are distinct from each other.
“We are keeping the Cresta brand and website to retain those loyal Cresta customers, while serving the needs and requirements of those that were previously unaware of our offering via the new City Escapes promotion.
“Thomas Cook City Escapes incorporates the very best city hotel product from the Flexible Trips retail brand and the customer-facing Cresta brand. It would be unwise to consider ‘retiring’ the Cresta brand in its entirety while we still have loyal customers, but we will keep our options open.”
The tour operator did a soft-launch of its dedicated cities brand to agents last week to make sure the trade understood the new proposition and the booking platforms, but only officially announced the news this morning.
The move is aimed at simplifying its dynamic package proposition and offering business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients a “clear understanding” of its range of flexible breaks. Flexible Trips is used by Thomas Cook agents and third-party agents to dynamically package holidays, while Cresta is sold direct to consumers.
The new City Escapes brand creates one brand for the company’s own stores and independent travel agents to sell its city break packages, covering 31,000 hotels in more than 2000 destinations worldwide. Transfers from airports are provided by Holiday Taxis and the breaks offer a range of different excursions.
It follow research showing that 77% of Cook customers visiting the company’s stores to book a beach break also enjoy three city breaks a year – the operator now hopes to capture these customers who might otherwise have gone elsewhere to book.
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