Public are deserting Travel Agents
Fri 19 Feb
By Roy Weavers
According to an article on Travel Today, Wotif Group announced a healthy profit increase yesterday, on the back of what the online agency described as continued evidence of a migration away from traditional travel agents.
The group posted a profit of $27.6m for the last six months of 2009, up 34% on corresponding period 12 months prior (Travel Today, breaking news, yesterday).
Group chief executive Robbie Cooke, said profit was spurred on by an increase in room night volumes.
“We sold 3.7 million room nights during the period, (up 22%) and we think that the big part of the growth has come off the back of migration from traditional channels,” Cooke said. “You just have to look at the foot traffic and see that people are happy with the service and value that Wotif.com delivers.” Cooke said the launch of Wotflight.com yesterday will not cannibalise flight sales on its lastminute.com.au and Travel.com.au websites.
“We know more than 30% of people booking with us are travelling by plane- that’s a very qualified audience base, so being able to market Wotflight to that audience is great,” Cooke said.
Lastminute.com.au and Travel.com.au have different markets, with little cross over expected, Cooke added. Bookings on Wotflight will attract a $16.95 booking fee.
All major domestic carriers are featured on the site with the exception of Tiger Airways. Trans-Tasman flights will be added to the site in the first half of the year, while more international flights will be added in the second half.