Online travel agency targets long-haul market

An online travel agency is hoping to undercut traditional long-haul tour operators by dynamically packaging breaks using increasingly expanding bed bank stock.


The Internet Traveller founder Charlie Clark said thelonghaultraveller.com would put together the reduced-price packages and market them through price-comparison sites, which currently have a lack of long-haul product.


The agency claims it has prepackaged more than 50 million long-haul holiday options, which it is now marketing through price comparison sites including Kayak, Compare the Market, Travel Supermarket and Teletext Holidays.


Clark said this could lead to big savings with the agency able to offer a 14-night bed-and-breakfast break at the Coyaba Beach resort in Jamaica for £2,282 including flights, transfers and taxes, compared with the £2,784 quoted by Kuoni.


Clark said: “We have been selling large quantities of Kuoni and Thomas Cook long-haul holidays.


“However, often we have been able to double our retail margins by tailor-making holidays using scheduled airlines and the major trade bed banks, which have all dramatically expanded their long-haul product in the last 18 months.”


On Holiday Group chief executive and financial backer Steve Endacott added: “It may not be Kuoni yet, but the long-haul market had better wake up and take notice as dynamic packaging technology is rapidly encroaching on their core markets.


“At the end of the day, unless they are adding value via complex itineraries, it is hard to see why customers would pay more than £500 more for the same holiday from Kuoni as they can book on thelonghaultraveller.com.”


Clark said the launch of the latest site comes following the rapid growth of the Internet Traveller since its launch in 2008. The online travel agency is planning to double the size of its sales and admin teams this year.


 

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