ECONOMY

Forthcrs in deal with Minoan and ANEK

Online ticketing and reservations company Forthcrs, part of Internet service provider and aspiring telecoms company Forthnet, said yesterday it has reached an agreement with Minoan Lines and ANEK Lines for the two passenger shipping companies to take equal stakes in the company and Terratec, a tourist software enterprise belonging to the Forthnet stable. Forthcrs did not disclose the size of the holdings to be acquired by the shipping firms nor the price to be paid. It did not specify the time frame for the move. The ticketing and reservations company which was set up in July is currently collaborating with NEL, the Lesvos-based passenger shipping company. Forthcrs and Terratec are due to be merged, with the share composition to be determined next year. The integrated company will target the transport and tourism industries as well as offer B2B services. Forthnet managing director Pantelis Tzortzakis said the ticketing and reservations company aims to sign up 600 agents by the end of the month. It also expects to offer online services to the major passenger shipping companies in the country. Forthcrs should have 800 agents online by May 2002 and able to cover the entire domestic shipping industry. It also aims to offer hotel linkups and packages. Despite the presence of shipping companies in Forthcrs’ equity composition, the company will be strictly impartial, Tzortzakis stressed. He said that ticketing and reservations services will be expanded to rail travel, hotels, cinemas, theaters, sports events and eventually even campsites. Forthcrs also plans to expand its range in the future with linkups with shipping companies and tourist agents abroad as well as setting up offices in the major tourist destinations. As it becomes the IMF’s headline debtor, Turkey has the highest inflation rate of all emerging market economies, over 80 percent in wholesale prices, and faces economic shrinkage of 8.5 percent of GNP, something that hardly inspires confidence.