Lastminute and travelocity continue integration

Lastminute and travelocity have continued their integration by merging marketing teams and combining offline sales and operations.

A statement confirmed that sales and operations will be “fully merged” by the end of December while the travelocity website will share content, technology and operations with that of lastminute.

In a further move, a new management structure has been unveiled with lastminute managing director Mark Jones heading up the joint operation.

The role of lastminute marketing director Matt Hart has also been expanded and will now include travelocity.

Jones will take overall management responsibility for the major brands including Medhotels, holidayandmore, Globepost and Travelbargains in addition to lastminute’s B2B and while label sites.

Former travelocity.co.uk managing director Ned Booth will continue to oversee the brand and all its sales, marketing and operations.

Emphasising that travelocity still has a key role for the combined group, the website is expected to be relaunched in January along with significant investment and a new strategy for 2006.

Meanwhile, lastminute management is midway through a consultation with around 60 travelocity staff in Stansted as it prepares to close down the office and relocate operations to London.

A spokeswoman said around 25 staff have already left.

Plans are also underway to shut lastminute’s Camberley office, where finance and sales teams are based, and relocate to nearby Woking.

No job losses are expected.

Jones said: “The move to one cohesive business unit in Woking for all of our core UK trading functions is a major step forward in our development.”

He added it would held solve the “challenges of a fragmented organisation”, the result of numerous acquisitions.

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