Thomas Cook is understood to be approaching retailers and financial service companies to launch a loyalty scheme that will rival Air Miles.
According to a source who has been approached by Thomas Cook, the scheme works on a points system similar to the Shell Smartcard. Retailers and other companies who subscribe to it will add Thomas Cook points to purchases. The points are accumulated and the customer cashes them in when buying a Thomas Cook holiday or flight.
It is understood that the scheme will be launched in March next year. The travel agent is also considering a branded loyalty card to run with the scheme.
Thomas Cook head of direct marketing Martin Chilcott says the scheme is one of a number the company is looking at.
“Like most other retailers we are looking at a variety of promotion initiatives. Travel is an extremely attractive incentive for many people and the Thomas Cook travel brand is a particularly strong one.”
He would not comment on whether retailers have signed up to the scheme yet but says: “There is an opportunity in the market for a new travel based promotion scheme.” He claims research has been done showing that if consumers are given a ten per cent rise in income, 60 per cent would spend it on a holiday.