Submitted By Betsy Cooper, International Editor
Ryanair has launched a package holiday service offering flights, accommodation and transfer packages on its website. The company has created the new business, Ryanair Holidays, in partnership with Spain-based tour operator Logitravel and accommodation provider World2Meet, owned by Iberostar Group. Ryanair Holidays initially launches in the UK, Ireland and Germany today, with other markets to follow in 2017.
Tui chief executive Fritz Joussen said last week that the sale of specialist division, Travelopia, is expected to be finalized in the first half of its financial year. Travelopia is the umbrella group of 50 specialist brands, including Hayes & Jarvis, Exodus, Travelmood, Citalia and Jetsave. Tui put the division on the market three months ago with the intention of selling the business as a single entity. The deal is potentially worth €500-600 million ($527-633 million).
Tui Group also reported a growth of 12.5 percent and describes move away from tour operating as ‘paying off.’ For TUI Germany, winter sales are up by 2 percent, with a 7 percent rise in average selling prices outweighing a 5 percent drop in customer volumes.
In the UK, Thomas Cook has launched a new web based booking platform to support independent agents ahead of peak season. Thomas Cook Trade, which extends to all Thomas Cook brands, includes TripAdvisor reviews and video tours for selected hotels, an image gallery, software to produce tailor-made window cards and an emphasis on extras like room. A training portal, The Thomas Cook Training Academy launches on Dec. 15 and focus on four key modules for Thomas Cook exclusive roduct. The operator has increased its sales team ahead of peak booking season, with staff due out on the road visiting key agents in January.