Ebookers begins ‘phased rebuilding’

Ebookers has disclosed details of its widely anticipated site relaunch, expected to begin in April 2007 after a six-month delay.

A string of new facilities will be introduced to the site during 2007, including contextual search tools, a vastly improved content management system and enhanced CRM functionality for customers.

The Travelport-owned business has spent the best part of the last six months radically overhauling almost every aspect of the site’s user experience functionality and back office systems.

Central to the programme of improvements, known as Project Austin, will be the gradual migration of all Travelport properties to a single technology platform, managing director Alan Josephs told Travolution.

The Ebookers relaunch, which will take place over a number of phases, will start with the introduction of more hotel properties from the GTA network within Travelport, extra hotel information and content, including photos and maps, and the ability to change or amend travel details and itineraries.

The second phase will include the introduction of destination services for users to bolt on extra products such as ski facilities and theatre tickets. The website’s search capability is to be radically improved in late-2007 with geographic targeting for users.

The changes follows a turbulent few years for the site, despite once having one of the strongest online brands. Ebookers will embark on a major marketing campaign to coincide with the launch and a change to the site’s famous logo has not been ruled out.

Josephs, who arrived in the UK earlier this year from Travelport in the US, said: “We are now the underdog in a way. Ebookers has always been a good travel company but now we are in the process of being a great online travel company.”

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