Tour operator Cosmosair is aiming to bypass travel agents and win more holiday business directly from consumers with the introduction of its first direct mail brochure.
Cosmosair launches the brochure, called Cosmos Selection, this week to a database of 100,000 potential customers. The brochure contains a range of holidays featured in the operator’s Summer Sun, All Inclusive, Greece, Turkey and Croatia and long-haul Distant Dreams brochures.
Previously, parent company Globus Group used its coach touring brand, Archers Direct, for direct mail operations, while Cosmosair was reserved as an exclusive “beach brand” for travel agents.
Recently appointed sales and marketing director David Burdon acknowledges that the brochure could possibly cause a “clash” with travel agents, but the company had to recognise that tour operators now existed in a multichannel route to market.
In August, Burdon was reported as saying: “We are putting more effort into improving the core Cosmos proposition than developing a direct proposition.”
Commenting on the direct mail initiative, he says: “The overwhelming issue that this business faces is that the “big four” operators have nailed down distribution with the majority of travel agents, focusing on their own in-house product.”
He argues that 25 per cent of holidays are sold direct, with Cosmosair only selling about 0.5 per cent of this total, and there is room for Cosmos to increase its share without a negative impact on travel agents.
Burdon has held senior marketing positions at Stena Line UK and Carlsberg UK.