Tailor-made specialist TravelLocal.com is likely to work more with agents following a merger with a German brand that uses a similar business model.
TravelLocal has merged with Berlin-based trip.me, which also uses operators and agents based in the countries to which clients wish to travel.
TravelLocal co-founder Huw Owen said the merger meant the two brands offered nearly 100 destinations and had a pre-Covid turnover of around €25 million. Together, they have customers in almost 100 countries.
TravelLocal offers Atol and Abta financial protection.
Trip.me did not currently offer B2B sales, unlike TravelLocal, Owen said:
“We had our first trade booking about three years ago. It came organically as a few agents that had heard about us liked or needed what we offered. We had planned a more systematic trade approach before Covid hit, but like everyone else’s plans, things changed.
“We are reviewing the trade channel as a merged entity post-pandemic with a view to potentially going in more fully to the trade in 2022. Nothing’s firmly decided yet, but we are keen.
“In the meantime, we will keep taking bookings from the trade when they come our way.”
Owen said a decision would be taken before the end of the year.
“I hope we will have a fully formed strategy later in the year, then there will be outreach in the trade.”
The merger comes with a £2.5 million investment from venture firms Active Partners and Gresham House Ventures and brings the total raised by both brands to £13 million.
Owen said some of the new funds would be spent on marketing once a decision had been taken on branding, which may include one of the two names being dropped.
“There is a brand review happening and it should be concluded within the next few weeks. It’s hard to pre-judge it; we have to work out what will have maximum traction,” he said.