Thomas Cook North America has launched its Canadian franchise (“Branded”) and affiliate (“Lite”) network, signing an agreement with Advantage Travel and Cruise Centres that provides its affiliates “with the ability to access the Thomas Cook brand, and with that its global expertise and strength.” Les Cassettari, Advantage Travel president, Doreen Lynch, executive vice-president, and Jill Dickie, director of operations, will join the Thomas Cook team to manage these programs.
Available at a “very attractive price point,” Canadian travel agents, starting with Advantage Travel Affiliates, can now be a part of one of the oldest and best known travel brands in Canada and the world. Affiliates will benefit from the strength that comes from having more than 3,500 Thomas Cook locations globally. According to officials, the network also offers an unparalleled value proposition that has been designed to help improve participants’ profitability and, in turn, offer their customers many unrivalled benefits.
The Branded program provides access to the Thomas Cook name, which affiliates can use in conjunction with their own strong local brands. Some of the other benefits include:
!!! Access to a highly robust supplier relations program;
!!! Comprehensive training and Business Development Team support;
!!! Access to the dynamic Thomas Cook Cruise program;
!!! Access to leading technology at a competitive cost;
!!! Access to Thomas Cook Travel Insurance;
!!! The ability to provide customers with Thomas Cook foreign exchange services;
!!! The option to host a four-currency ATM;
!!! Access to leading B2C web technology;
!!! Access to a comprehensive marketing program.
“For agents that sign up for our new Branded program, it is the best of both worlds,” said Michael Friisdahl, chief executive officer, Thomas Cook North America. “They not only benefit from the tremendous global strength of the Thomas Cook name, they can continue to leverage the strength of their own brands in their local markets.” The lower cost Lite program does not include the use of the Thomas Cook brand. However it does feature a range of other benefits including: a very strong supplier relations program and access to Thomas Cook Travel Insurance and foreign exchange services, among others.
“The launch of these programs complements the licensing deal with Sears Travel that we completed in late January,” added Friisdahl. “Through the agreement with Advantage, we expect to be introducing the Thomas Cook brand into hundreds of travel agency locations across the country, securing our position as one of the leading travel retailers in the Canadian marketplace.”