Travel giant launches trade-only accommodation site to UK agents

Anex launches UK bed bank
By Linsey McNeill
Home » Travel giant launches trade-only accommodation site to UK agents

Europe’s second biggest travel company, Anex, is attempting to break into the UK market by signing travel agents up to its hotel-booking website.

Turkey-based Anex, which owns hotels, two cruise ships and Antalya-based Mavi Gok Airline, acquired Kent travel agency Travel Vogue via a sister company based in Amsterdam to gain a foothold in the UK in 2020.

Travel Vogue Director Andrew Baker has now set up an Anex HQ in Leatherhead Surrey, and hired its first Business Development Manager, Kevin Doyle.

Kevin said he will be on the road from next week, aiming to sign up travel agents to the Anex hotel trade-only booking ‘as quickly as possible’.

“We think that we are going to give agents the opportunity to compete with the OTAs on price, especially in Turkey, Egypt and Dubai,” added Andrew.

Even with 11% commission for agents built into its prices, Anex says it can still undercut OTAs like Loveholidays.

“We’re not just a bed bank, we also offer transfers with our own vehicles and our own reps in resorts,” added Andrew.

He said Anex planned to add flights to the portal by early autumn so agents will be able to put together their own packages.

In the future, the company plans to launch its own flights to key destinations from the UK.

Anex sole shareholder and Chairman Neset Kockar was the second largest investor in Thomas Cook, having taken an 8% stake less than two months before its collapse in 2019. Following its demise, he acquired Thomas Cook’s retail operations in Germany and Russia, but this is his first new venture in the UK.

Several UK agents are already using the Anex booking portal but Kevin said he wanted to broaden its reach, nationwide.

Kevin, who has previously worked for Co-op Travel, First Choice Holidays and Touchdown Cruise, has returned to travel after a year out.

“I’m looking to visit agents nationwide and help them to use the system,” he added. “The aim of the game is to give agents more choice and variety for the locations we offer.

“I will be visiting as many agents as possible in the coming months, as well as attending trade shows nationwide to help promote the Anex brand.”

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