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Published on Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dream Ticket collapse helps long haul rival

Long Haul Traveller is reporting a doubling in bookings since the collapse of its main rival Dream Ticket last month.

The online company is part of Internet Traveller and a trading name of The Freedom Travel Group, a division of United Co-op Travel Group.

Long haul Traveller managing director Charlie Clark said: “We have been expecting consolidation of the online long haul sector for a while with low cost operations like The Long Haul Traveller driving prices down and business with higher overheads out of business.

“The industry has already seen this in the short haul sector, but for some reason seemed to think the long haul sector was immune from the price pressures the internet brings.

"Customers are only one click away from a lower price, so it’s vital that agents close the sale at the earliest opportunity using added value deals and service.”

The Internet Traveller has also sought to protect its margins by offering a large range of tailored multi-centre holidays to its customer base.

Product director Craig Kean said upselling to multi-centre holidays has helped boost business.

“On many occasions we attract customers with low-priced single centre holidays to places like Las Vegas, however the skill is to then up sell them to a multicentre holiday. These multi-centre holidays offer fantastic value for money and are increasing in popularity due to the strengthening pound.”

He said the company has worked closely with some American tourist boards to offer added value to our bookings, like free city passes and transfers.

“We would like to work with many more in the future using the same formula,” he added.

But the company warned that the days of £200-plus margins on single centre holidays are gone.

“Given this, even major brand’s like Kuoni would come under considerable pressure to cut costs and evolve their models if they are not to face the same fate as Dream Ticket,” it warned.

Croydon-based Deam Ticket went into liquidation in May and its assets were acquired by long-haul operator Tropical Sky.

By Bev Fearis

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