The channel will use European content and inventory from Traveldev’s trade-only B2BSki brand, which will also handle the bookings and be responsible for customer care. The deal is on a commission-based structure.
Claire Howard-Jones, UK marketing director, told Travolution that it had linked up with a specialist in order to bring the product to market quickly. “Our expertise is in flights and hotels. It would have been slower and a bit piecemeal to develop it ourselves.”
This June, ebookers added a cruise channel via a similar arrangement with North American agent Viva Voyages. Howard-Jones said that sales were going remarkably well, and that it was attracting a younger demographic than expected.
She added that ebookers ‘was always evaluating specialist and niche product and we should be announcing a few other things this side of Christmas.”
Ski will initially be marketed via ebookers’ customer newsletter and through the core site home page. Future specific ad campaigns are a possibility, depending on take-up. Ebookers took out some classified ads to promote its cruise offer after strong early interest.
“Despite the credit crunch we think the ski sector should do well,” she said. “We wanted to offer ski not only because it expands out offer but also because our target audience is into skiing.”