Start-up internet travel retail group Online Travel Agent Group has launched its new brand bookinglate.com targeting established players in the lates market.
The group said it had brought forward the launch to take advantage of the peak summer booking period. OTAG revealed its first brands MyWayTravel and MyWayCruise in January and fully bookable websites are due to go live in April.
Bookinglate.com is offering customers discounts of up 50% on selected deals from suppliers including Thomas Cook, Airtours, Thomson, First Choice, Cosmos, and Olympic Holidays.
OTAG was set up by entrepreneur John Mclean, who founded the Late Escapes Group before its acquisition by Airtours.
He said he believed there was a gap in the market for a retailer offering late bookings due to the increasing demand from holidaymakers holding out for the best deal.
“For too long the late bookings market has been dominated by one or two names and we felt it was time to challenge this. Healthy competition can only be good for consumers,” he said.
As a member of The Co-operative Travel Group’s Freedom travel agency consortium, the holidays bookinglate.com sells are all Atol protected and benefit from its membership of Abta.
Mclean Added: “Unforeseen global factors such as the Icelandic ash cloud last year and the current unrest in North Africa and the Middle East have contributed to the decline in consumer confidence for booking holidays in advance. Customers want to know that they will definitely get to their destinations without any disruption.”
Paul Iredale, General Manager of BookingLate.com said: “Although booking last minute travel is not a new phenomenon it is certainly a trend which is increasing. Booking late can often be the lowest price way for a customer to get an overseas holiday, flight, cruise, hotel or city break.”