Burling told Travel Weekly: “Obviously, we have policies that drive direct distribution, but I don’t see a time when independent agents won’t be important to us.” He said Thomson and First Choice exclusive product, which account for 84% of summer bookings to date, offer benefits to independent agents who sell them. “These hotels often sell early. The average selling prices are attractive. They generate repeat business,” said Burling. He added: “Our forward sales are up year on year through quite a few independent agents. There are still opportunities for independents.” Get the full story at Travel Weekly UK