Cook’s Robinson to head up new UK OTA division

Thomas Cook has appointed Simon Robinson, the travel giant’s managing director of sales, to head up its new online travel agency division based in London.

Robinson will take up the new role of UK managing director of e-commerce on June 1 tasked with leading the development of the company’s online travel agency arm.

He will initially be focusing on the UK market but will then look to develop Cook’s OTA strength in other markets.

Travolution understands Robinson will be based in offices on The Strand with his own dedicated team.

He will be replaced in his former role by Joanna Wild, currently customer service director for Thomas Cook Airlines.

In late March chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa spoke about ambitions for Thomas Cook to become the largest online travel agent in Europe.

Speaking exclusively to Travolution, he said Expedia and Priceline has the market sewn up in the US but described the European marketplace as “totally wide open”.

Fontenla-Novoa said his vision for Cook’s OTA business as a pan-European agent, was to offer consumers the ability to book flights, cars and hotels all over the world, mainly for leisure short breaks.

It also revealed former Expedia managing director and founding Travolution editrial advisroy board member Simon Breakwell was acting as a consultant to help realise the dream.

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