Friday, November 11, 2005

FEXCO outline "aggressive" growth for online business

The Irish travel firm which acquired online accommodation provider from technology supplier CNG is conducting a "root and branch" review of the business as it prepares to look for global growth.
FEXCO All Travel said it had "aggressive" plans for the site – which offers around 25,000 exclusive rate properties - and would look to expand the depth of product and its number of partners.
It also confirmed that a second accommodation provider acquired in the $2.5 million deal,, would be phased out.
Managing director Dr Stewart Stephens declined to reveal specific details of the growth plans or business review but said expansion would happen "in the near future."
"We are conducting a root and branch review of Placestostay and the short term aim is to have a user-friendly site with customer-focused value and clear booking process," he said. "There will be aggressive growth to put it mildly although I would not like to put a figure on that.
"First of all we need to draw a line between CNG and us. Our suppliers are used to dealing with CNG."
He said it was a logical step to phase out the cnghotels brand but retain Placestostay which he described as a "recognised brand" in the UK trade.
Business development and distribution director Tim Wright said deals are in place, or in the process of being struck, with a host of UK travel companies including Advantage Travel Centres, Worldchoice, Dawson and Sanderson and Lowcostbeds.
"Our aim is to be on every desktop in the UK," said Wright.
Asked if it would seek distribution through the major online travel agencies, Wright said: "We are looking for opportunities all the time. Nothing is off the agenda."
Fexco have just completed a deal to supply the Placestostay inventory through TUI-owned French tour operator Nouvelles Frontieres.

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