The Vertical Travel Group has fully taken over Amathus Holidays in the UK and enabled its 220 in-house travel agents to sell packages from the luxury Mediterranean specialist.

It hopes to extend trade sales to other agents within the Midcounties Co-operative in the next two to three months, and eventually the rest of the UK travel trade.

Vertical rescued the Amathus Holidays brand from the ashes of the collapsed Preston Travel Group in 2014 and it has since sold holidays direct to consumers under a licence agreement.

Now in-house homeworking brands Your Holiday Booking, Holiday Elite, Instant Holidays and Instant Breaks can sell Amathus packages.

The operator is a Cyprus and Greece specialist and offers upmarket hotels under brands such as Ikos Resorts, Sani Resort and MarBella Collection.

Agents can access the trade portal via the Amathus Holidays website and offer their customers the same prices as direct consumers.

There is a variable commission structure depending on the agent’s level of business.

Janette Healey, Amathus Holidays’ managing director, said accessing in-house technology and knowledge offered many benefits for agents selling the holidays.

“The Amathus Holidays’ inhouse team has a huge amount of knowledge and can offer marketing support to agents,” she said.

“We have very strong links with Cyprus and Greece; we are very much in touch with their Covid secure messaging. Sani and Ikos are leading the way.”

She said sales at the luxury end of the market are “really positive”.

Affluent customers are trading up from their usual bookings, by opting for more expensive suites and longer durations.

“We are getting lots of enquiries for mid-July onwards and have 2022 on sale,” she said.

“There is a lot already booked for September and October because of transfers from 2020 and other people tearing their hair out after lockdowns in 2020.

“We are getting lots of inquiries from couples who will be leaving the kids with the grandparents who have been vaccinated, and lots of wedding inquiries too.”