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Agents face threat from direct, says TUI

By
Sarah Thomas

AGENTS
must focus on customer service to counter increasing competition from direct
brands, according to TUI northern Europe chief financial officer Will Waggott.

Speaking
at TUI AG’s full year results for 2002, Waggott said divisions such as Thomson
Direct grew substantially, forcing agents to focus on offering added-value
service to maintain their market share in the long term, he said.

Bookings
last year showed an “increasing proportion migrating towards direct brands,”
according to the 2002 annual report.

Direct
distribution is an area planned for expansion in line with growth for 2003.

Waggott
described agents as an expensive channel, while web-based products were doing
well because they are a much simpler medium.

 

 

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