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Travel industry news

20 May 2019

BY Gary Noakes


Relaunched Kosmar introduces trade portal and makes price parity pledge

Kosmar Holidays, revived in October as a start-up OTA, has launched a dedicated trade portal and started offering its first in-house packages.

Jhy Worsnop-Hesford, Kosmar Holidays

“We want to rebuild the margin because we see a lot of travel professionals with a wealth of knowledge who can’t even price match any more.”

The agents’ portal on the Kosmar website is now live, with an incentive of a £15 John Lewis/Waitrose gift card for all bookings of more than £1,000.

The portal allows agents to deliver quotes co-branded with their agency and contact details, and issues confirmations and Atol certificates automatically.

Kosmar also plans to offer “instant” commission payments later this year.

“We want to rebuild the margin because we see a lot of travel professionals with a wealth of knowledge who can’t even price match any more,” said managing director Jhy Worsnop-Hesford.

“The big thing around launching a trade platform is price parity and technology. Some agents do not have a bookable website because they can’t afford it.”

The 25-year-old registered the former XL Leisure Group brand, which has Travel Trust Association membership, while at university. He said investment in Kosmar had come from his own funds.

Kosmar’s range of short- and long-haul beach and city break packages used directly contracted hotels.

“It was always our intention to launch our own programme, particularly with some top operators not offering price parity,” he said, adding the hotels “had not come straight out of a bed bank”.

To appeal to “the Booking.com generation”, Kosmar will not take balances until one week before departure. “There is a massive market that enjoys paying for their hotel on the day,” he said.

Kosmar employs “more than” 15 homeworkers and hopes to increase this to 50 by the end of the year. There is a flat joining rate of £199, and agents with more than two years’ experience pay no monthly fees. There are also plans to recruit business development managers and a general manager for the homeworking division.

Other ambitions include launching a Florida programme, initially direct sell, and a mobile app, slated for September.

“We also want to embrace smart TV, which no one seems to have done,” he said. “We have a vision of families sitting down to book on a Saturday night as opposed to looking at a small iPad.”

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