The agreement will see Sunhotels, Webjet’s European online accommodation business servicing the wholesale market, take responsibility for the majority of the volume of Thomas Cook’s complementary hotel business. This builds on the existing successful partnership that Sunhotels already has with Thomas Cook in its Nordic markets. As part of the new deal, Thomas Cook will transfer around 3,000 hotel contracts from across the group to Sunhotels. These will be added to Sunhotels substantial existing hotel inventory of hotels from across the world which will also be provided to Thomas Cook under the terms of the agreement.
The partnership will allow Thomas Cook to focus on growing its core differentiated holiday offering, while at the same time giving customers a wider range and choice of complementary hotels in a more efficient way. As part of the deal, Sunhotels will also take responsibility for managing an improved health and safety audit process, ensuring greater certainty and consistency in the quality of the customer offering.
Under the terms of the agreement, Webjet will pay Thomas Cook £21 million for entering into the supply agreement, the transfer of hotel contracts to Webjet and implementation costs of the deal.
The partnership represents an important step forward in Thomas Cook’s group-wide transformation programme – the New Operating Model. By moving the direct contracting for complementary holidays to a trusted partner, Thomas Cook will be able to harmonise and simplify its IT platforms and business processes across all its 15 source markets, delivering cost savings by reducing the complexity in its business.
Thomas Cook Chief Executive, Peter Fankhauser, said: “Entering this new relationship with Webjet will transform the way in which Thomas Cook offers a wide choice of hotels to customers. It provides us with a low-cost production platform for our complementary offer across all our source markets, enabling us to streamline our systems and processes while at the same time ensuring greater certainty over the quality of hotel we offer our customers. This frees us up to focus on growing our differentiated holiday offering, the area where we know Thomas Cook can really make a difference.”
Webjet’s Managing Director, John Guscic added: “Webjet is delighted to be entering into a partnership with such an iconic travel brand as Thomas Cook. Like Webjet, the Thomas Cook Group is a results driven, customer first organization, focused on delivering the best customer experiences in the market. Working together, we are confident this partnership will deliver superior results for both parties. Furthermore, this agreement allows Webjet to escalate its growth profile in the dynamic European B2B market.”