OTC to Power Padi`s Move into UK Market

PADI Travel Network, the American dive travel wholesale tour operator and subsidiary of PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), is to launch a diving holidays website in the UK following a deal with leading e-travel group OTC
(Online Travel Corporation).


The companies are entering the UK`s diving holidays sector by offering dive holiday packages to worldwide destinations through a new UK website (www.padi.co.uk
).  This will combine flight and hotel options provided by OTC, the UK`s largest online travel supplier and retailer, with PADI dive courses. In addition, OTC`s call centre operation will provide fulfilment services for the website.


Due to go live today, the website will give UK divers access to PADI Travel Network`s complete portfolio of land-based and live-aboard packages to destinations including the Red Sea and the Maldives. All deals include diving provided by PADI member operators.


PADI Travel Network becomes the 60th signing to OTC`s travel content and fulfilment services. Other companies include, Freeserve, Tiscali and The Times. OTC also powers its own stable of travel sites, including Bargainholidays.com, the UK`s top package holidays website and A2bTravel.com, the complete online travel resource.


Since its launch in America in 1988, PADI Travel Network has become the US`s top dive travel wholesale tour operator, offering group and dive packages to over 200 resorts and live aboard dive vessels across 90 of the world`s top dive destinations. Said PADI Travel Network`s president Christine Grange: “Expanding our services into the UK is a vital next stage in our operations. OTC has come up with a win-win route that will enable us to achieve our goals.”

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Commented OTC`s general manager John Bevan
: “This deal highlights our position as the UK`s leading provider of online travel content, both through our own portfolio of websites and those of our partners. PADI Travel Network is already the number one dive holidays website in America and we look forward to helping it reach poll position in Europe.”


Related stories on ITN:

(19/08/2002) OTC Set for Asia Pacific Expansion

(15/08/2002) OTC Lauches New Flagship Brand

(08/07/2002) OTC Release Interum Results for First Half 2002

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