Independent operators and agents should consider breaking into the sports travel market to meet growing consumer demand for more specialist product according to England and Wales Cricket Board head of corporate communications Colin Gibson.

Speaking at the Association of Independent Tour Operators conference in Kerala, India, Gibson said about 37,000 fans travelled to Australia for the 2006/07 Ashes Series.

However, with the majority of supporters having to book through Thomas Cook to get tickets for the matches, many fans had to book additional excursions once there with local agents to get off the beaten track.

Gibson said: “People didn’t want to be herded and they didn’t want to be travelling in big groups.”


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