Virtual Hypermarket Breaks New Ground
26 March, 2008
Virtual Hypermarket Breaks New Ground In Online Travel
British Meta-Search Company Launches in NZ
An innovative online travel concept from the UK has launched in New Zealand, offering Kiwis unprecedented comparisons of the best holiday deals to Australia.
Australia Travel Market is a first for New Zealand – a meta-search engine that compares prices across a wide range of online travel companies.
Effectively creating an online hypermarket, Australia Travel Market (www.AustraliaTravelMarket.co.nz) scours a diverse cluster of leading online companies – from the local offerings of airline sites, Zuji and STA Travel to the global inventory of Travelocity, Lastminute.com, Opodo and ebookers.com.
Meta-search, or price comparison, is a new concept for New Zealand and Australian consumers. Over the past three years, meta-search sites have emerged strongly in the UK and US.
In less than two years, Australia Travel Market has developed into the leading portal for UK holidaymakers planning to travel to Australia with more than 100,000 visiting the site each month.
And now Kiwi travel entrepreneur Dave Simmons, returning home after 14 years in the UK travel industry, is bringing the concept here.
Simmons, the CEO of Global Travel Market the parent
Australia Travel Market, explains: “We’re giving Kiwis the same level of choice that UK travellers take for granted, thanks to the growing role of meta-search engines.
“Australia is the destination we’re focusing on first, but in time, we will roll out this concept to offer other holiday destinations.
“Kiwis are confident booking online to Australia, but they’re not usually convinced their first fare search will always come up with the best deal – and they’re right!
“Individual travel agent websites only show you the deals they’ve negotiated, for instance, with the airlines they deal with. They’ll highlight which of their airline deals is the cheapest, but you won’t know if that particular retailer actually has the best overall deals with that airline or if another retailer – based in NZ or not - is pricing things more sharply. You’re only seeing a one dimensional view.
“Our site compares retailers with each other, and then with the airlines directly and then with flight consolidators, hotel websites, car hire websites, travel insurance websites, and many more, all in real time. It’s like walking through a shopping mall, and having someone run on ahead from shop to shop to pinpoint the best deal. It’s smart shopping without doing the hard work yourself. Our aim is to save travellers time and hopefully money.”
As well as airfares, the site also features arguably the most comprehensive selection of Australian accommodation and touring products.
Simmons added: “We’ve got 7,000 accommodation and tour options on the site, including, for instance, 164 farmstay properties – that’s unheard of for a regular travel website. It’s a deeper level of product than almost anything else in the market.
“We’re the invisible man. We’re not a travel agent, we’re an independent search engine. We’ll help you compare the latest deals across hundreds of travel websites with just a few clicks.
“Once you’ve found a great deal, we’ll link you with the relevant travel company website for you to make your booking.”