- Cosmos is going to introduce a new premium tour brand—Globus—to the UK market. It will offer four-star product, as well as a winter program. Like Cosmos, which promotes “affordable tours,” the brand is part of the Globus Travel Group. The new brand current operates in a number of markets, including the United States and Canada, but is now being introduced to the UK.
Giles Hawke, chief executive of Cosmos Tours and Cruises and Avalon Waterways UK, told the UK travel trade publication TTG that Cosmos would now only offer three-star product in hotels just outside city centers, while Globus would feature four-star properties “and a more inclusive offering” in centrally located areas. Globus will also offer winter product, entitled Escape by Globus, which will feature the same tours as in the summer, but with 30-40 percent lower prices.
- Getabed and roomsXML have launched a new brand: Stuba.com. Both existing brands will retain their identities for the foreseeable future while the Stuba brand is rolled out this year. Stuba will be headquartered in Dubai where both getabed and roomsXML are currently situated. The company will continue to have offices in the U.S., UK, India and Australia.
Said Stuba CEO Ruchir Bang, “Stuba will be significantly larger in scale to what roomsXML and getabed were individually, but we are very mindful of not losing any of the values and ethos that made both brands so popular.”
- According to research commissioned for the accounting firm PwC, There were 358 closures of high street travel agencies/stores in 2017, with just 32 new openings—for a net loss of 326 travel agents. Numbers from the survey, which was conducted by the Local Data Company (LDC) also show that the net loss of retail units was higher than banks and financial institutions, which were down 201 retail units; and estate agents, down 102 units, making travel agents the “biggest faller.”
LDC gathered data from 500 towns, which showed a total of 5,855 outlets closed on Great Britain’s high streets in 2017 at a rate of 16 a day, compared with 15 a day in 2016. The number of new openings fell from 4,534 in 2016 to 4,083 last year. The figures do not, however, estimate how many working-from-home businesses have been opened in travel or other sectors.