Adventure tour operator Explore aims to double web bookings to 50% of all sales in the next three years.
Explore, owned by Holidaybreak, recently relaunched its website explore.co.uk with a view to making it easier to book holidays online. It has added new search criteria such as price bands as consumers focus on holiday spend during the current recession.
Currently 25% of Explore’s bookings are made online, compared to 80% of the company’s Dutch adventure travel business Djoser, which takes 80% of its bookings online.
Holidaybreak group chief executive Carl Michel said: “The Dutch business shows the extent of bookings that can be made online.”
But he admitted the UK business had a loyal customer base that preferred to book over the telephone and said 50% was a more realistic target for Explore’s web bookings.
He added: “It’s not that complicated and we need to try to get people to see the benefits of booking online.”
Explore has also introduced a Back to Basics range of economy touring holidays in response to the economic climate. These holidays offer public transport rather than the operator’s own buses, for example, and budget guesthouses.
According to the group’s interim management statement [link to other story] 61% of the adventure travel division’s holidays have now been booked for the 2008-2009 year, compared to 72% this time last year.
This is a result of holidaymakers putting off larger spend holidays and the impact of exchange rates on bookings.