Teletext in dramatic overhaul of ThisIsTravel business

Teletext Holidays is planning to drive more business through its retail arm ThisIsTravel as part of major expansion plans beginning next month.


ThisIsTravel, which was launched a year ago to provide component-based holidays, has terminated its contract with Lastminute.com-owned OTC, its original technology, content and fulfillment provider.


Fulfillment has been brought in-house and Teletext Holidays has purchased an ATOL to cover all products booked via the service. Technology will no be provided by Traveltek.


Teletext Holidays managing director Matt Cheevers declined to say how many passengers the ATOL would cover but said he anticipated quadrupling the size of the business based on the number of the passengers carried in the past year.


He also said a team of 30 people would be in place incorporating call-centre staff, homeworkers and an administration team by the end of the summer.


The management team is already in place and Samantha Lloyd, formerly with A1 Travel, has been appointed general manager.


Cheevers said: “We did not want to go the whole hog before so we had a period to see whether we would take the risk. It allows us to determine our own destiny and it’s the right time for all sorts of reasons.”


Content will be a combination of holiday inventory from existing advertisers as well as deals with third party bedbanks and other suppliers.


ThisIsTravel also plans to seek ABTA membership.


Cheevers stressed the expansion was not about taking customers from existing advertisers but encouraging incremental business.


“We’re not going to spend money marketing it or invest in cost-per-click campaigns.”


Simultaneously Teletext Holidays is continuing with its ‘Premium Media’ plan reducing the number of advertisers on some of its key pages.


The company began the initiative in December with its all-inclusive section and will extend it to its Greece, Turkey, Canaries and Red Sea pages in the coming weeks.


He also said the company would continue to improve its core media business and become tougher on companies displaying transparent prices and accurate availability on pages.


“We have removed 29 advertisers in the past 10 months where people have misused the system.”

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