Thursday, May 24, 2007

Travolution@E4T - FirstChoice to relaunch, but why?

UK multiple FirstChoice is planning to relaunch its website in November this year, despite the company being just weeks away from a merger with TUI.

Dermot Blastland, FirstChoice managing director, told delegates as much during a session on "Scale vs Specialisation".

As well as the usual relaunch spiel, Blastland said the new site will be designed to cater for those still lacking the confidence with online booking of travel products.

If rumours are to be believed, practically every travel website in the land will have seen some kind of makeover by the end of the year - so what is so special about FirstChoice?

The fact that the company is forging ahead with plans to relaunch the site despite being on the verge of joining forces with Thomson - which, as readers will know, has a very strong online presence - indicates a number of things:

  • FirstChoice is worried it will not get a green light for its merger. Possible, but unlikely.
  • FirstChoice offline brand is strong and they don't want to lose it completely.
  • FirstChoice online brand is strong for SEO and it would be suicidal to cut of traffic.
This is all very intriguing...

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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17 comments:

Anonymous said...

perhaps it is because there current site is rank.

Travolution Blogger said...

Anonymous: Surely you meant to say something about its page rank?!?

Anonymous said...

This can only be a good thing based on the fact that the current site offers little to the consumer and can best be desribed as "clunky" to use.

Anonymous said...

show me a transactional travel site that isn't "clunky"!

Anonymous said...

Don't be so touchy. You don't work for First Choice do you?

Anonymous said...

I recognise that most transactional travel sites are, in fact, "clunky", but to say "all" is a gross exaggeration. Some pure-play online sites like Expedia are a breeze, and even the more traditional tour operators such as Thomson and MyTravel could be decribed as "pleasant".

Anonymous said...

there all as bad as each other. expedia is terrible!

Anonymous said...

"perhaps it is because there current site is rank"

Maybe there is a typo at the end ?

Travolution Blogger said...

Anonymous: Please keep comments clean.

Picky said...

Their = (possessive)
There = (direction)
They're = (they are)

Travolution Blogger said...

Picky: Welcome to pedants corner. But thank you for pointing it out.

Anonymous said...

I didn't think my comment wasn't clean !

Travel Insider said...

Guys...having participated in this debate and sat next to Dermot....his postion was quite clear.

1. Yes post merge they would retain two brands....why on earth would you chuck one away, unless your one of these mad corporate branders who insist that single brand is the only way forward ( Crap by the way)

2. Dermot believes that a travel site should focus on providing a simple transactional booking engine and not to distract customers with lots of "clutter and distraction" that all those web2.0 guys talk about....just quoting here guys. Interestingly does this spell a major clash of cultures when it comes to mergin the web teams?

Steve Endacott

Picky said...

Sorry Steve,

Your - 2nd person possesive
You're - You are

By the way everyone, the website's been in development a lot longer then FC have 'potentially' been merging with Tui.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Picky -it's 'than' not 'then'!!!!!!

Picky said...

Dammit - Out Picky'ed.

Touché

Anonymous said...

I created the new pages and it was because our homepage was all table and it was hard to maintain and change so we "DIV" it. Created list. It had nothing to do with mergers