French online travel giant to launch in the UK

French online travel giant to launch in the UK

EasyVoyage, one of the leading price comparison sites in France, is to make a major assault on the UK market in 2009 with a dedicated website ready in time for Christmas.

Travolution can reveal that the company has invested more than Euro 4 million in the project, including half set aside purely for online advertising as it attempts to break the stranglehold on the UK market by Travelsupermarket, Cheapflights and Kelkoo.

Founder Jean-Pierre Nadir said the company aims to be among the top five travel sites in the UK by the end of 2009 following its official launch on December 4.

The push into the UK market – using the domain – follows its launch in France in 2001, where it ranks alongside Kelkoo as one of the most high profile price comparison sites in the country.

The French site currently attracts around 3.2 million visitors a month.

The company launched in Spain in 2007 and Italy in early-2008. A German site will be rolled out in 2009, Nadir told Travolution this week.

The company claims it will have a “major advantage” over its rivals in the UK sector as it combines price comparison of flights, hotels, holiday packages and car rentals with advice on over 250 destinations and reviews of more than 6,000 hotels worldwide.

EasyVoyage also includes traveller forums and a bi-weekly newsletter of travel deals from industry partners, similar to the Travelzoo, Cheapflights and Travelsupermarket bulletins.

Nadir said the company currently secures around 70% of its revenue from leads to agencies and suppliers through its price comparison engine, with 15% gained through advertising and a further 15% via its email newsletter activity.

Up to six UK partners for package holidays are expected for the site’s launch in December, with a further eight agencies for air fares, Nadir confirmed.

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