Cresta Holidays head of marketing Jane Williams has denied that the operator`s deal with Opodo in the UK means it is turning its back on the traditional travel agency community.
Ms Williams agreed that Cresta is known as a supporter of independents, but said the fact that the operator has signed a supplier deal with Opodo did not mean anything was about to change.
She told TravelMole: “We’re not doing anything less for agents. There’s nothing on Opodo that you can’t buy in a travel agent.”
Ms Williams added: “There is an argument that those who want to book direct, book direct and those who want to go to a travel agent go to a travel agent. We’re not taking anything away - some people want to book one way, others want to book another way.”
She pointed out that while this is the first deal that Cresta had signed with a web-only agent, many other agents that it works with also sell holidays on the internet.
And she explained that she was particularly pleased that Opodo had decided to go for the bonded inclusive tour option - rather than selling DIY city packages where people put together their own flights and accommodation.
Opodo UK Country Manager Richard Hadfield commented: “WeÊare delighted to add Cresta HolidaysÊto our UK site as a holiday provider and look forward to working with them to provide our customers with even further choice.’”