Midcounties Co-operative Travel is to launch a business travel operation by the end of the year.
Group general manager Alistair Rowland said this would be the fourth arm in the group’s business, which currently operates shops, a consortium business and a travel agency homeworking division.
Midcounties is working with a partner to set up the new division, which has not yet been named.
It will offer business travel through Midcounties Personal Travel Agents initially before being rolled out across the group.
Rowland said: “A significant number of PTAs have access to small businesses who want them to manage their personal travel as well. This will be an entirely new operation for us.”
Rowland expects the business travel operation to bring in £10 million in revenue in its first year after launch in October.
Midcounties is also poised to create a new offer for consortium agents who require funding or support with a start-up model and want to operate as a co-operative or mutual.
The move is part of a wider initiative announced at the group’s consortium conference last year.
Rowland revealed Midcounties’ revenues for the year to April were up 5% year on year to £375 million, with sales in 2016 up 8%.
He said the group’s shops were having their “best-ever year”, while service levels were at an all-time high with its ‘net promoter score’ currently at 95%.
The group recently launched its own dynamic tour operation, Co‑op Holidays, following the launch of its Co-operative Rooms bed bank, which now accounts for one in two accommodation sales.
A consumer Co-op Holidays website along with a City Breaks range will be unveiled this year.
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