Tui committed to working with third-party agents, says UK boss

Tui UK’s boss has outlined the company’s commitment to working with third-party travel agents and predicts they will be a “real part of our story” in future.

Managing director Andrew Flintham said the company was “really happy” to sell its products through independent agents but stressed the importance of ensuring third party sales did not negatively impact bookings through its own stores.

He said: “It’s a really important part of what we sell. We are happy, really happy, if we get ambitious, third-party agents that want to sell our products. We are not in any way not wanting to sell through third party retail.”

But he admitted the company had to strike a balance between inhouse and third party sales.

“The challenge we always have is we clearly won’t sell through third-party retail to the detriment of our own retail shop that’s two doors down the road,” he said.

Flintham said certain parts of the business were more reliant on third party business, adding agents played a much more important role in the distribution strategy of its cruise line Marella Cruises.

Third party independent travel agents will also be a firm part of the travel giant’s future, forecast Flintham.

“We absolutely want third-party agents to be part of that as we bring new products through, as we choose to add capacity in various places. That’s going to be a real part of our story as we go forward,” he said.

“We want to give them [third party agents] the opportunity to be successful with our products the same way we want our own retail estate to be successful with those products. We clearly have to balance all those things off.”

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