Airtours puts 5m into direct-selling division

Airtours Holidays is putting 5m-plus behind the launch of a direct-selling division that will compete head-on with Thomas Cook’s Portland and First Choice’s Eclipse brands.

Although the launch is shrouded in secrecy, an Airtours spokeswoman says: “We are always looking at opportunities for the group. An increasing number of customers book their holidays direct with us.”

In the past, the holiday outfit has been criticised by travel agents for selling packages by Teletext cheaper than high street companies.

Last month, Airtours tried to buy Direct Holidays but the 32m bid was rejected. Direct Holidays sells over the phone at a 15 per cent discount by wiping out travel agents’ commissions.

The Airtours group – which comprises Going Places, Eurosites, Escapades, Aspro and Tradewinds – currently uses Advertising Principles and Connectpoint for above-the-line advertising and GGT Direct for below the line.

Media is bought by The Media Business North and Mediavest Manchester.

Airtours is understood to be talking to direct marketing agencies about the launch of the new division.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here