Cosmos claims its move to reduce prices and commission has helped agents compete with online travel agencies (OTAs) as it prepares to launch a trade website allowing agents to book packages online for the first time.
The trade supplier revealed a new flat-rate commission structure at the end of last year, meaning some agents saw their commission cut from December 12.
At the same time Cosmos reduced its prices and said it was taking a financial hit to ensure its holidays were competitive with online dynamic packagers.
Gary Anslow, Cosmos sales director, said the reaction from agents had been broadly positive.
“A number of agents said ‘we did not like what you did with commission but it allows us to compete with the dynamic packaging market’. Our customers are no longer looking to the OTAs,” he said.
Cosmos hopes agents will use the new trade site as a one‑stop‑shop for traditional packages and tailor‑made trips.
Anslow again ruled out moving to price parity with direct sales, saying it didn’t work for short-haul beach product.
“I get the principle because I’m a consumer; I would not expect to pay more in a John Lewis shop than online,” he said. “The principle is sound, but the economics for the beach market does not work.”
Cosmos Holidays’ trade website is expected to go live in early June.
The site will offer agents rich content and give them the ability to move between all of the Monarch Group brands including bed bank Somewhere2stay and flight-only provider Avro.
Anslow said current trading was healthy, adding: “Without exception we have grown our package sales volume with every agent and consortium we deal with.”