Octopus Travel in major push against OTAs

Accommodation specialist Octopus Travel plans to take on the online travel agency sector following a multi-million dollar technology overhaul and thousands of new properties.

Managing director Gareth Gaston said octopustravel.com had always been seen as an appendage to GTA but the plan is for it to compete in the OTA sector.

Octopus has already increased the number of hotels on the system from 20,000 to 60,000 and the company is now also looking to bring hotels that are not GTA hotels on to the system.

The website has recently undergone a massive overhaul with the investment of more than $8 million in the development of a new online platform.

Gaston said domestic hotels were one area for expansion with the 800 UK properties offered in the system to increase to 4,500.

The first phase of the new platform is being released this month with a further stage to come before the end of the year.

Gaston added that contracts have already been signed with major hotel chains. Octopus’ business-to-business partners including airlines will also benefit from the new platform and increased content.

The plan is to concentrate on the hotel offering although Gaston said other elements of travel could be offered ‘more strategically’ within the buying process.

The new platform is supported by an in-house analytics tool to determine what consumers want and what drives conversion.

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