Thomas Cook has struck a hotel sourcing deal with online digital travel services provider Webjet.
The agreement will see Webjet's European online accommodation business Sunhotels take responsibility for sourcing and contracting hotels which account for the majority of Cook's complementary business.
The deal, announced this morning, builds on an agreement that Sunhotels already has with Thomas Cook in its Nordic markets.
As part of the deal, Cook will transfer about 3,000 hotel contracts from across the group to Sunhotels.
These will be added to Sunhotels' existing hotel inventory of 75,000 hotels across the world, which will also be offered to Cook as part of the agreement.
Thomas Cook said the partnership will allow it to focus on growing its core differentiated holidays while providing customers with a wider range and choice of complementary hotels in a more efficient way.
Sunhotels will also take responsibility for managing an improved health and safety audit process.
Thomas Cook said the move represented an “important step forward” in its group-wide transformation programme or 'new operating model'.
The group said that moving contracting for complementary hotels to a partner would make it easier to harmonise Cook's IT platforms and business processes across its 15 source markets.
Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser said: "Entering this new relationship with Webjet will transform the way in which Thomas Cook offers a wide choice of hotels to customers.
“It provides us with a low-cost production platform for our complementary offer across all our source markets, enabling us to streamline our systems and processes while at the same time ensuring greater certainty over the quality of hotels that we offer our customers.
"This frees us up to focus on growing our differentiated holiday offering, the area where we know Thomas Cook can really make a difference."
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