Teletext Holidays is looking to buy in or develop mobile applications which can be marketed to other travel suppliers as well as used on its own channel.
Gary Merry, head of product holidays and mobile for Teletext Holidays, told Travolution: “At the moment there isn’t a successful mobile holiday portal, so the revenue-sharing opportunities like you have online aren’t there.
“The opportunities are in additional services, such as location-based offers, downloadable guides. We would be looking to develop these for our own site, but also open them up to other providers as well.”
He said that ski is a good example of where mobile add-ons can work.
Teletext’s mobile site will be selling ski when the W08/9 season starts.
Teletext Holidays launched a mobile site in April, and is now looking to expand after a strong launch period. The site features mainstream holidays and deals, which are fulfilled by the Teletext call centre.
“It’s quite complicated, technically, to build the booking technology for package holidays into a mobile platform, and even if we did then there’s still a way to go before people are willing to book on their phone,” Merry said. “People like to talk to people”.
The mobile site is marketed through links on the main Teletext portal, where visitors can subscribe to receive holiday offers by text messages.
“The easiest way to get people to your mobile site is by sending them a link in a text message,” he said.
Teletext Holidays is also active in paid mobile search, buying keywords on the mobile phone providers’ portals . ‘On average we come up about 1.4 in the paid listings,” he said.
“At the moment, we’re using paid search to build the mobile brand rather than generate bookings. We were one of the first to market with a mobile site for travel, and we want to keep this early mover advantage.”
He added that mobile internet would continue to grow. “Networks are actively encouraging people to access the web on their mobile phones by offering better pricing for access. Lots of price plans include unlimited minutes, and this is encouraging people to try search using their phones.
“This is a big opportunity, because people who search for travel online will start doing it on their mobiles.”