Northern Cyprus specialist Direct Traveller is launching a Turkey brand with the aim of carrying 10,000 passengers within two years. Pure Turkey, which launches on April 18, will offer tailormade itineraries and pay agents 10% commission.
The operator plans to take 20 agents on fam trips to Turkey this year and trade roadshows are planned for October in the Midlands, north and south of England.
Direct Traveller, which came 77th in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list in 2010, is aiming for passenger numbers of 2,000 this year due to the timing of the launch but hopes to reach 5,000-6,000 next year and 10,000 by 2013. Its northern Cyprus operation carried 10,000 passengers last year.
Managing director Ramadan Ozdemir said: “The northern Cyprus market is almost saturated and for us to continue growing we need to go into a new market.
“Turkey has the same language and is a non-euro destination which is one of the reasons our company has been successful.We are trying to keep our numbers realistic but hopefully we can match our northern Cyprus programme.”
Ozdemir revealed the operator had begun to consider Turkey after the failure of Goldtrail, which specialised in Turkey, last summer.
Direct Traveller briefly offered Turkey in its first year of operation in 2003 but dropped it in favour of focusing on northern Cyprus initially.
“Goldtrail had kept prices to Turkey very low and we decided to stay away. Now there are only a few specialists to the country and there is a lot of potential. We are not going for the bucket and spade market, we are aiming for the over 40s market and couples,” added Ozdemir.
He hopes to significantly increase sales through travel agents as a result of offering Turkey. Currently, around a third of sales come from the trade and around 70% are direct from consumers.
Product will include traditional Turkish Gulet cruises, visits to the ancient city of Hierapolis and carpet weaving in Kusadasi. It will also offer city breaks to Istanbul and beach holidays.
A dedicated website pureturkey.com goes live on April 18 featuring exclusive deals and special offers for 2011 and a dedicated brochure will follow for 2012.
It will offer holidays to Turkey from 21 UK airports, including all the main London airports and regional airports such as Birmingham, Bristol, Doncaster, Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.
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