Mantra: trade must provide value

Mantra: trade must provide value
By admin

Mantra will continue to work with bricks and mortar travel agents and wholesalers despite a stated aim to capture direct online bookings.

Director of marketing Ken Minnikin said 70% of bookings involve an online element somewhere in the process while 50% of enquiries to its call centre are from people “looking at a website”.

But he said traditional channels remained part of its distribution strategy.

“We will work with travel agents and wholesalers but we have to provide value, and so do they,” told Travel Today. “There are some who are aggressive and we’ll work with them.

“We want people to come to our website but is there a space to work with the trade over a long period of time? Yes, there is.”

Meanwhile, the company has dismissed suggestions it is still on the market following its failed sale process earlier this year.

Mantra’s major shareholders – CVC Asia Pacific, which holds a majority interest, and UBS – are fully behind the overseas strategy and see major growth opportunities, Mantra chief executive Bob East said.

Although offers from potential buyers had largely met expectations, East said shareholders put a higher value on the business based on future growth projections.

Traditionally, private equity firms exit a business in three to five years, but East said the shareholders “were willing to commit to the future of the business”.

“We are not in a holding pattern. We are not for sale,” he told Travel Today.

East revealed to Travel Today earlier this month that Mantra was targeting major growth in Asia, as well as domestically, with plans to open 15 properties alone in Indonesia.

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