Lowcost Travel Group to expand in ancillaries market

The Lowcost Travel Group plans to expand further into the holiday ancillaries market and increase its dynamic package sales following its recent acquisition of transfers specialist Resorthoppa.

Resorthoppa was bought in January and has since cut costs by nearly £2 million.

Group chief executive Paul Evans said the group had taken out £1.3 million in Resorthoppa’s overheads and clawed back savings of £600,000 after discussions with suppliers, enabling the transfer specialist to reduce prices by 8% on average per passenger.

“One of the reasons we have been able to be so aggressive on price without affecting margins is because we have taken at least £1.8 million in costs out,” he said.

The group has plans to extend further in the ancillaries market, through organic growth and acquisition, in the next six months to offer product such as car parking and airport hotels.

Ultimately it hopes to provide more dynamic packages, moving the group away from being known solely for its bed bank lowcostbeds.com, which makes up 60%-70% of sales. “We are not a bed bank; we’re a leisure company,” said Evans.

As part of this, lowcostholidays.com will become the group’s main website instead of lowcostbeds.com. Lowcostbedsagents.com will remain the trade site.

Evans added: “Longer term we will move towards selling packages to the trade and direct – that’s the ambition.”

The group is now encouraging agents to sell its beds and transfers together by offering bonus commission to agents who make accommodation with transfer bookings by April 19. Transfer prices featured on lowcostbedsagents.com are also on average 5% cheaper than on resorthoppaagents.com.

More information

* Resorthoppa to launch aggressive ad campaign (Travel Weekly, January 2009)

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