Tour Operators Move to Catch the Do-It-Yourself Market

23rd Nov 2004

Travel technology firm Travelink
has sold multi-channel flexible booking systems to five tour operators in the past month.  Sunvil Holidays, Alpine Elements, Balkan Tours, Tribes and Thomas Cook’s accommodation-only answer to the DIY phenomenon,, are all new customers.Sunvil Holidays will use the Travelink system to service the traditional package market while also catering for the growing Do-It-Yourself (DIY) sector.  It has signed a five-year deal with Travelink, converting from Anite-owned FSS.  The Mediterranean specialist will use the system to make its packages more flexible, giving travellers a greater choice of travel dates and holiday durations.  It also plans to take more online bookings and grow its share of the long-haul leisure market, the new Thomas Cook business, has set its sights on offering one of the most extensive ‘accommodation-only’ programmes in the market.  Its ‘budget to luxury’ approach covers more than 11,000 properties. The business says more than 90 percent of all bookings are coming through the trade, with sales to date exceeding expectations. 

Travelink lets operators sell their products through a variety of methods - on Viewdata, through call centres or online.  It also lets them sell individual components of a holiday and vary their prices according to the sales channel. 

Travellers can choose the duration of their holiday and have an array of flights to choose from. No-frills flights became bookable in Travelink towards the end of last year, and GDS-listed airlines are now included in the system following deals with Amadeus and Galileo.

“There’s a quiet revolution happening in the world of tour operator technology”, said Travelink managing director David Jones.  “Operators are evolving quickly to cater for the changing tastes and habits of the British traveller.  There is growing demand for greater flexibility. People want to travel on dates that suit them, and this doesn’t always fit the traditional package model.  Smart technology is enabling this evolution and out-of-date legacy systems are getting the push.”




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