Cosmos is to axe Archers Holidays as part of a realignment with the parent group’s brands.
The 25-year-old brand will be discontinued from the end of this year. It comes two years after the brand was introduced to agents.
Sales director Janet Parton said the company had now decided to focus on the Globus Family of Brands’ portfolio: Cosmos, Avalon Waterways and Globus, to be introduced to the UK as a standalone premium operator over the next two years.
Prior to being made available to agents in 2016, Archers was direct-sell only. Set up in 1994 as Archers Direct, the operator has only ever operated in the UK. Its product and prices are identical to Cosmos’ range of tours and cruises.
Parton said there had been minimal interest from agents in Archers, but that it remained a ‘sizeable’ business.
She said: “We have seen the trade continue to book Cosmos rather than Archers, despite price parity. We want to integrate ourselves more with the global business and align our brands. It didn’t make sense to have a standalone brand that is a replica of Cosmos.”
The UK business will continue to focus on Cosmos as its ‘hero’ brand, said Parton, but will slowly introduce its premium touring brand under sister brand Globus, previously only sold in overseas markets the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Globus will offer four star-plus, all-inclusive tours with city centre accommodation while Cosmos will focus on three star accommodation outside city centres. Globus tours will appear in Cosmos’ 2019 programme out in June.
Up to now, Cosmos has offered Globus product as Cosmos Platinum tours.
By 2020, all 179 Globus tours will be on sale in the UK.
Globus fam trips, online training and a website for the trade will be developed in the near future.
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