A new in-house tour operation offering dynamically packaged products for Midcounties Co-operative agents and consortium members will go live in January.
Co-operative Holidays’ packages will focus on core destinations including Spain, Portugal and Greece and include “hand selected” properties and major hotel chains.
The site allows agents to select different departure airports, while hotels are mapped on Google with options to view inside the accommodation. Early booking discounts will be offered along with deposits of £60.
Group general manager for travel Alistair Rowland said the group’s retail agents wanted somebody else to package up the holidays for them and have one price to sell to customers to make a dynamic packaged transaction “feel like a tour operator sale for the customer”.
“Within the group, operating a wholesale business will transform the profitability of the group, no doubt,” he added.
A consumer-facing website is also in the pipeline but Rowland said: “We need to refine it as a B2B site before putting it live, probably in 2017.”
He said the package holidays would be heavily promoted to consortium members and Personal Travel Agents, but “not forced”, adding: “We still see independence for our agents as being crucial to their offer.”
The group is also looking to work with more hotel chains and eventually operate an accommodation-only business which will expand into mid and long-haul destinations.
A Co-op City Breaks programme will be rolled out in 2016.
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