Published on Friday, July 22, 2011
Price comparison website Kelkoo Travel will relaunch next week in an attempt to grab a larger slice off the UK and European online booking market.
Chris Nixon, former managing director of travelsupermarket.com, has modernised the site - one of the earliest shopbots - and included filters to make it easier for consumers to find what they are looking for.
Customer reviews are also being added and there will be destination guides to improve Kelkoo's ranking on search engines such as Google.
"Kelkoo launched in 2000 and Kelkoo Travel has been around since 2002/03 but it has suffered from a lack of investment," said Nixon, who was brought in at the end of last year to revamp the site.
"We have got a team of skilled developers to rebuild the whole product."
Kelkoo's hotel booking site will be relaunched in the UK first, possibly by Wednesday next week, then rolled out to Kelkoo's other nine European markets. Flights will be added by late August/early September, followed by car hire by mid-September.
Nixon said Kelkoo is planning to offer package holidays too, but he admitted this was more complicated as tour operators use different technology and most are unable to supply packages by XML.
"Package holidays are definitely on the agenda and we are looking at how we can offer packages," said Nixon, but he admitted it would be early next year before Kelkoo launched a full holiday offering.
Asked whether Kelkoo was attempting to poach customers from his former employer travelsupermarket.com, Nixon said the UK market was already very competitive, but he said there were opportunities for Kelkoo to grow in other European markets, including France.
By Linsey McNeill
Move scroll bar (above) left to right for more videos!
The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.