Teletext Holidays is to launch its own dynamic packaging tour operation under its This Is Travel brand following falling profits over the last six years.
The company is ditching lastminute.com-owned Online Travel Corporation, which has provided technology and fulfilled component bookings through This Is Travel for
the last year. From mid April, Teletext will fulfil bookings and Traveltek will provide the technology.
Managing director Matt Cheevers said the move was to protect Teletext’s revenues as travel companies reduced the size of their call centres and cut back on advertising.
He said: “We are protecting a bit of our own destiny. Teletext has seen a decline in profits over the last six years and the media model has come under threat because there is less margin available. We are reacting to a market that has moved away from package holidays.”
He denied the move signalled the end of the road for Teletext, which generated £800 million worth of sales last year.
This Is Travel will initially have 10 staff in its Hertford call centre to take bookings generated by advertisements on Teletext TV and the web. This will rise to 35 by the end of the summer.
The operator, which has an ATOL and plans to become an ABTA member, is headed up by new general manager Samantha Lloyd, formerly of A1 Travel.
Cheevers insisted the operator would fill gaps in its product range, not compete with existing clients.
For example, where advertisers cannot fill all of Teletext’s regional sales pages, This Is Travel will advertise its products.
Cheevers said: “All we are doing is filling the gaps in our product that our client base does not provide. We have a lot of regional sections we struggle to sell to clients so we decided to set up our own travel business.”
This Is Travel will sell three and four-star dynamically packaged holidays to the Mediterranean and city breaks, using third-party suppliers such as bed banks rather than contracting product itself.
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