Cosmos online shake-up to push Monarch into new areas

Cosmos is considering an agents’ portal for Cosmos Holidays following the operator’s decision to make the holidays arm, flights specialist Avro and accommodation-only site somewhere2stay into trade-only brands.

Agents already have access to sites for Avro and somewhere2stay via logins and passwords while until now Cosmos Holidays has been a consumer site.

Commercial and product director Stuart Jackson said the operator is assessing demand for a trade online portal for Cosmos Holidays on top of the existing channels to market including XML feeds and viewdata.

Jackson said the existing site would remain as a reference point for consumers while the company is considering making elements such as online reviews and videos more accessible to the trade.

Meanwhile, a consumer portal, under the Monarch brand, will offer the same flights, hotels and holidays direct to the public.

Monarch Hotels, Monarch Flights and Monarch Holidays all have their own sites but Jackson said that going forward, currently focused on flights, would offer more travel product.

Jackson told Travolution: “We want to expand it to a travel provider site and that could mean adding cruise or ski.”

The decision to create dedicated brands for the trade and consumers follows a lengthy business review showing the unprompted awareness of Monarch was good while fewer consumers unprompted recognised Cosmos Holidays.

Jackson said: “Using Monarch lets us capitalise on our group proposition and its well-known name. Cosmos was not front of mind because we don’t spend on marketing it in the direct arena so it was quite a simple decision.”

He added that here are currently no plans to increase marketing spend for Monarch and that the focus was on increasing volume through the sites and conversion.

“It’s about educating consumers already using our sites that we offer more and more.”

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