Sunday, May 14, 2006

Travel sites can have an even bigger role!

Perhaps two travel companies are synonymous with so-called brand extensions – and

Since the creation of their core businesses – flying people around cheaply and finding late holiday deals – both have branched out into new areas such as Internet cafes and boats (EasyJet) or gifts and poker (

But if both companies are running out of ideas, here’s an amusing tip from the political world, produced unintentionally in this week’s New Statesman (a magazine not known for its humour).

Journalist Nick Cohen was highlighting the escalating costs of the government’s various IT projects, such as the NHS’s Choose & Book tool, which is believed to have over-run by £135m.

[Read the article here]

Lamenting the role of management consultants in the affair, Cohen said: “If you were advising a friend on a new computer system, you would tell him or her to get tried and tested software.”

Referring to the comments of Computing magazine about the Choose & Book debacle, he suggested “there is no real difference between booking a hospital bed online and booking a flight”.

“Yet I doubt if the DoH’s [Department of Health] advisors recommended going to either or and buying and adapting their programs,” Cohen remarked.

So there you have it, the latest brand extension: the white labelling of travel booking systems to enable GPs to reserve hospital places for patients.

They could even dynamically package an NHS "product" for patients - an operation in one hospital, recuperation in another, choose the type of ambulance for the ride home, rehabilitation or physiotherapy at a specific clinic, medication from a certain brand.


Travolution is stunned they haven’t thought of it already. I jest, of course…

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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