Journal: TWUKSection:
Title: Issue Date: 24/07/00
Author: Page Number: 72
Copyright: Other











Global Travel Group looks to sell its product in any retail outlet – including supermarkets




A pound of apples and a holiday in Greece, please




Report by DIANE SMITH

GLOBAL Travel Group has said it will work with non-travel retailers if necessary to reach its goal of 1,000 UK outlets in two years.


The group is targeting existing agents, like members of ARTAC, Advantage and Midconsort, to sign up.


But founder George Begg said he will take whatever steps are necessary to expand the group from the current 560 outlets to 1,000 shops, including targeting other retailers.


“We have a very successful recruitment policy.”


But his claim has been criticised by rival consortia. AdvantageTravel Centres sales and marketing director Colin O’Neill argued that customers want more than just a booking service.


“We will always have competition from non-travel areas but the more removed you are from the travel industry, the less able you are to provide customers with the recommendation and confidence they need.”


ARTAC managing director Julian Foster claimed the group should not just expand without a clear strategy.


“I don’t think it will work. It’s been tried before. It’s not my belief that the average person is seeking to buy travel from shops like Sainsbury’s.”


Global’s recruitment drive is its most aggressive so far according to Begg. The group will ideally be made up of both Global members and those joining Global’s Independent Options group for ABTAmembers. Begg wants the group to be made up of two ABTA agents to one Global agent.


Meanwhile, Phil Hogg, who was made redundant by Travel Counsellors last week, has joined the Global Travel Group.


He will be responsible for sales development.


Ambitious: Begg says he won’t confine his outlets to just travel retailers – any store from newsagents to supermarkets will be fair game