TUI Travel’s B2C bedbanks – laterooms.com, asiarooms.com and hotelopia – booked 17% more room nights during the year to end-September.
A presentation to analysts this morning revealed that TUI sees B2C accommodation services as a key growth area within its specialist operations. The growth strategy is to organically grow existing businesses while expanding into new markets.
Laterooms has recently launched a web site in Italian and now has local language versions in France, Spain and Germany. Currently 95% of customers are from the UK while 90% of its bookings are for stays in the UK. Laterooms sees the opportunity to grow not only its 10% market share in the UK but also in Europe, where it has less than 1% of the market.
TUI also revealed that the total transaction value for laterooms.com was £250m, 45% up year-on-year. The web site attracts 3.1m unique users a month.
Asiarooms.com netted a total transaction value during the year of £43m, a 27% drop on last year. It is less dependent on one source market than laterooms, with 50% of customers coming from Asia and 30% from Europe. It has a c3% market share of the Asian market and its web site pulls in 1.4m unique users a month.
Elsewhere in the results, TUI revealed that 36% of its UK mainstream holiday bookings during the year came via the internet. “Improved functionality on both the Thomson and First Choice websites drove greater online volumes,” it said, referencing its recently launched ‘MyThomson’ online initiative.
The web continues to account for more UK mainstream sales than the high street, which picked up 31%. Call centers handled 11%.
The UK & Ireland mainstream operations carried 5.7m passengers during the year, 19% down on last year. It lifted underlying operating profit by more than one-third to £184m.
Overall, Europe’s largest travel operator reported an underlying profit before tax of £366m on sales of £13.9bn.