Cosmos is to introduce a new premium touring brand called Globus to the UK market, offering four-star product as well as a winter programme, TTG has learned.
The sister brand, which is also part of the Globus Travel Group, currently operates in a number of markets including the US and Canada, but is now being introduced to the UK, along with a new travel agent training portal.
Giles Hawke, chief executive of Cosmos Tours and Cruises and Avalon Waterways UK, told TTG Cosmos would now only offer three-star product in hotels just outside city centres, while Globus would feature four-star properties “and a more inclusive offering” in centrally located areas.
Hawke added that the aim was to establish Globus as a “standalone brand to sit alongside Cosmos” by mid-2019, with plans for a UK website as well as a training portal for agents.
“We’ve soft launched it in recent weeks but now we’re going to start promoting it more heavily”, he said.
“The introduction of the Globus brand will continue over the coming year but agents will be able to identify it quite clearly on our website. And in a year’s time we will have a standalone Globus website.”
Hawke said agent training would be key to the roll-out of the brand and that Cosmos would be supplying a number of tools to help educate the trade.
"We will do fam trips and lots of training,” he said. “In the US and Canada we have a travel agent portal called The Source, which we will be introducing to the UK market, as well as a training programme called the Globus University, which will educate agents about the Globus family of brands, including Cosmos and Avalon.”
As well as a summer programme, Globus will also offer winter product, entitled Escape by Globus, which will feature the same tours as in the summer, but with 30-40% lower prices, Hawke said.
“It will offer the same properties and itineraries but at a time when it’s a bit quieter and cooler, with a lot less crowds, which we think will appeal to slightly older customers.”
He added that the programme was now on sale for winter 2018-19, and was “already seeing some demand”.
Elsewhere, Hawke added that he hoped to continue increasing agent sales across all brands in the group.
Currently, around 70% of Cosmos bookings are made through the trade, but Hawke said he would be happy if that reached 100%.