Travelsupermarket moves away from high profile white labels

Travelsupermarket has confirmed it is in the process of withdrawing from all its major white label partnerships.

The UK’s largest meta search engine said it had taken the decision after a review of its existing strategy to grow the brand through a string of high profile deals including those with a number of UK national newspaper websites.

A spokeswoman confirmed that deals to provide travel search tools on sites belonging to the Guardian and the Telegraph ended at the end of June this year.

Another major partnership to provide similar services on the Virgin Media website’s travel channel will not be renewed at the end of August 2009. The deal was signed in April 2008.

Managing director Graham Donoghue told Travolution: “We have been looking at the cost of ownership and our general partner strategy and took the decision in travel to focus on our direct site.”

Rival provider Kayak has stepped in to run the search tools on the Telegraph website.

The decision is in stark contrast to moves in the meta search sector 18 months to two years ago when a string of white label deals were put on the table and eagerly snapped up by Travelsupermarket and others.

However, last year the Telegraph decided to create a combination system using Thomas Cook for holidays and Travelsupermarket for flight and hotel search.

This mirrored the strategy of AOL, which used Thomson Holidays and Kayak after axing a high profile partnership with the then Yahoo-owned Kelkoo.

Sky Travel also moved against the favoured meta search option when it partnered with Expedia and TripAdvisor in January 2008.

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