News appoints new head of product development has appointed Doug Turner as new head of product development to spearhead its new cities programme.

Turner previously worked for BCT Travel Group, which includes Cresta and Bridge city break specialists, and Specialist Holiday Group, an arm of Thomson.

He will be spearheading the accommodation-only supplier’s new cities programme. The first ten cities will be launched on February 22, with the top thirty cities to be on sale by mid April. The winter 2008 product will be on sale by August and by November, 2009 will be bookable.

Turner has appointed a specialist team of new contractors to start in mid January and February. He expects to have a mixture of direct contracts with hotels, direct links with hotel chains using late room availability and connection through a GDS.

He said: “Our extensive city offering will make us very competitive in the early markets when low cost carriers go on sale and in the late markets to fulfil late demand.”

Sales and marketing director John Harding said the city breaks market would be boosted by Easyjet’s takeover of GB Airways.

“The GP takeover has given Easyjet more power and will lead to more dynamic packaging. Agents can make the most of this by making sure they are knowledgeable about the most popular cities.”

The top ten city break destinations in the range are Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, Prague, Rome, Bruges, Barcelona, Brussels, Venice, Nice and Lille.

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