Lowcostbeds, which now does business with 145 travel agencies in Ireland, of which 32 have direct XML links to its bed stock, reports that trade sales in Ireland are up 35% year-on-year.
Clem Walshe, Managing Director – Ireland, told Irish Travel Trade News at a lunch in Dobbins restaurant: “Travel agents currently generate approximately one-third of lowcosttravelgroup’s total Irish turnover – and we have various joint co-operations and commercial strategies to assist cash-strapped agents in developing sales in the dynamic packaging market, which now accounts for up to 80% of all their business.
“We are the only bedbank that provides Irish travel agents with an indemnity against public liability and potential claims. We also have a local Irish management team and a dedicated 24/7 travel trade support team. Daniel Kiely has also joined us recently as Search Engine Optimiser – Ireland for lowcostholidays.
“Ireland is one of the top-performing markets for the group for local market share and overall profitability. We aim to have over 16,000 directly contracted hotels and 239,000 hotels across lowcostbeds and lowcostholidays by the year-end – and will carry over 2.5 million customers across the globe in 2014, with €750 million worth of accommodation-only sales excluding flights.
“Spanish destinations account for almost 35% of all sales, while the fastest growing sector, albeit from a low base, is long haul holidays.”
Mark Garwell, Strategy Director for lowcostholidays, told ITTN: “Some 32% of customers now book on mobiles and tablets, with 68% on desktops, although many do their initial searches on handhelds and then book on desktops. I expect booking numbers on mobiles and tablets to become the majority sooner rather than later.”