August 28, 2018

Why Europe’s OTAs are acquiring brick-and-mortar agencies

Europe's new Package Travel Directive makes it increasingly difficult for independent agents to offer deals cost-effectively.

The M&A boom is affecting online travel agencies, too: UK-based OTA On The Beach plans to buy vacation company Classic Collection Holidays for £20 million.

The group will support Classic to invest in, build and launch an online booking portal to provide travel agents with access to a portfolio of mainstream beach holiday product under new brand Classic Online, which will be available exclusively through travel agents and will not be a consumer site.

The company, which specializes in European beach holidays, said the Package Travel Directive, which came into effect on July 1, “has meant that travel agents that dynamically package holidays take on onerous responsibilities that make it increasingly difficult for independent agents to do so cost-effectively.

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Read also "OTAs will feel the biggest impact of Europe’s new package travel regulations"