Australian based online accommodation company, Flairview Travel, has seen almost a 400 per cent increase in bookings made from the UK, compared to the same period last year, on its global booking website HotelClub.net.
offers over 6,000 hotels in 36 countries and 750 cities worldwide, offering bookings at substantially discounted rates up to 12 months in advance, with almost two million unique visitors surfing the site monthly.
The popularity of the site and its significant growth in the UK market can be attributed to the company offering heavily discounted global hotel inventory while localising marketing and communication content.
According to Flairview Travel’s marketing director, Ms Chloe Lim, following recent world events, people’s “play it safe” attitude toward travelling has meant sites like HotelClub which offer local accommodation in individual markets globally have benefited from people choosing to travel domestically and/or in areas perceived close to home or safe.
Due to this trend, the company is predicting further growth in the UK market. “Despite our UK marketing activity being limited to date, we have still seen a significant increase in bookings. As a result, the UK has become one of our key markets. We now have an active UK office and we’re planning to intensify marketing activity for the remainder of 2003 and moving into 2004.” Chloe said.
Interestingly, while bookings on HotelClub from the UK to Asia have dropped by 10% in recent months due to SARS, domestic bookings have doubled to 26% (during this period). This indicates, even though the choice of destination may change from an international destination to a domestic one, UK members are still returning to the site to book accommodation, particularly for holidays.
Leading into the peak summer holiday period bookings from the UK are mainly to other European destinations. The top summer holiday destinations this year include Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.