Opodo’s DP venture to take on US giants

OPODO has vowed to go head to head with the US online giants as it prepares to make its first venture into dynamic packaging.

Work is underway to create a system it claims will exploit its knowledge of the European market in a way its transatlantic rivals are unable – or unwilling – to do.

A shopping basket concept has already launched, with users searching for flights and hotels separately which are then priced together at the ‘check-out’. A full DP system is expected next year.

Opodo head of tour product Chris Roe said its European expertise will set it apart from Expedia, Travelocity and Ebookers.

“As a European company we are a lot closer to, and have far greater knowledge of, the local markets. That is a significant advantage,” Roe told Travolution.

“We know the needs and requirements of individual markets better than the US businesses and can tailor the product accordingly. We will have a local solution that the other players do not have.”

Opodo’s move comes after it recognised a need to expand beyond its airline roots and offer product “the client is demanding”.

“We are strong in air travel but need to compete in other areas,” said Roe. “Take a villa in Sicily – Expedia or Cendant would not be interested because one villa does not deliver volume. But we will offer this product in markets where we know there is demand. It is a niche and delivers high margins.”

Once the system is launched next year – Roe refused to be drawn on when – one search will bring up a combination of operator packages and dynamically packaged product.

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