Travelocity has formally launched Travelocity New Zealand (www.travelocity.co.nz), offering insurance, hotel and cruise content.
Peter Smith, General Manager - Travelocity New Zealand said: “We believe the time is right for a wholly-owned and operated online travel site in New Zealand. The greatest opportunity for us, based on growing consumer demand, is on the fast-growing area of online hotel reservations.”
Travelocity New Zealand’s range of more than 90,000 hotels with prices shown in New Zealand dollars, are available for real-time online booking. This, along with the introduction of cruise as a new product line mark two strategic differentiators for the site in New Zealand, according to the company.
The site also features extensive traveller reviews about the hotels, maps, photos and more. Hotel bookings on Travelocity New Zealand can be made on line, in real-time, with the booking confirmed instantly. Hotel bookings can be made on the same day as check-in, or up to a year in advance depending on each customer’s preference.
Smith added: “Many travellers like to book international accommodation well in advance. We see about a third of our customers regionally booking hotels more than a month ahead of check-in. Travelocity New Zealand offers New Zealanders the benefit of being able to find a great value hotel, that suits each person’s unique needs, which can be booked early. This is particularly important in popular destinations, and if someone is traveling in peak periods.”
Travelocity’s New Zealand presence follows on from a former strategic alliance relationship, which utilised the Travelocity-owned Zuji brand and technology in New Zealand. The Zuji New Zealand site closed on 30 November 2007.
Smith commented that Zuji’s decision to enter New Zealand in 2004 with a strategic alliance approach made a lot of sense at the time.
“Zuji was growing in Asia Pacific but was not yet under the Travelocity family umbrella of companies, and New Zealand consumers were only just making online bookings in large numbers. Hotel room online reservations were in their infancy. Times change, and our business and the online travel environment in New Zealand has evolved. While an alliance approach allowed us to serve New Zealand customers with an established partner, we are now refining our focus towards hotel bookings, ensuring New Zealanders have access to thousands of hotel choices here and abroad .”
Many New Zealand hoteliers already distribute their rooms online on Zuji sites across Asia Pacific, lastminute.com sites in Europe and Travelocity.com in North America.