Sales of Travel 2 by Global Travel Group members have overtaken Gold Medal after the operator was bought by Thomas Cook last year.
Speaking at the consortium’s conference in Manchester today, Global Travel Group managing director Dave Clayton said sales of Travel 2 had “rallied” since Gold Medal “lost its independence”.
Thomas Cook Group bought a 50.01% stake in the flight consolidator and tour operator for £24.9 million in April 2009. It then announced plans buy the remaining 49.99% stake in December 2009.
Gold Medal was outselling Travel 2 in November last year through the consortium’s members. However, Travel 2 overtook its rival in December and is now outselling it.
In his initial address to the conference, Clayton urged delegates to focus on operators which support the trade.He said: “It is more important than ever to choose the right partners. The larger tour operators have come out and said they don’t need our business. I find it frustrating that some agents will still promote these companies.”
Guest speaker Travel 2 managing director Andy Freeth said that independent agents selling Gold Medal was like “Tesco selling Sainsbury’s own brand bacon”. He said Thomas Cook was marketing flights through its direct brand Netflights, which is part of Gold Medal.
He said: “We don’t try and take your customers. Think long and hard about the suppliers you support.”
Clayton also reported that Turkey had taken over from Majorca as the top selling destination for Global members.
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