A tour operator has seen his sales through agents increase by 30% this year despite the majority of his marketing spend targeting direct sales.

Anatolian Sky managing director Akin Koc said the growth in sales meant agents now accounted for nearly two thirds of the operator’s sales this year as opposed to 50% last year.

The agency sales growth came about following a 25% increase in marketing spend on agents, 5% less than the increase in advertising spend on direct sales.

Koc said the operator would again increase agent advertising while cutting direct advertising, adding: “We had our best year this year as travel agents are far more cost-effective for your marketing spend.

“If you’re very supportive to agents and have a one-price policy then you will succeed although you do have to build confidence with them.”

He added the operator is also planning on introducing Egypt and Morocco for its 2009/10 winter programme while Jordan is also under consideration.

Koc said the new programmes would focus on the more cultural attractions as opposed to those appealing to the mass market.