Fee free OTA undercutting others

Australia has become the 13th new market for global discount travel brand, lowcostholidays, with the website launching in Australia with a $5 lay-by option, a choice of 160 airlines and 200,000 hotels and followings already from more than 30,000 local Facebook fans.

To mark the debut of the fee-free site – discounted, seven-night packages to one of the most popular holiday destinations for Australians, Phuket, are being offered, including flights from five capital cities and four-star accommodation, representing savings of up to 21 per cent.

Launched in the UK in 2004 and now one of the most popular travel sites in Europe, with more than two million customers a year, offers a special $5 lay-by scheme, allowing Australians to pay a $5 deposit for accommodation-only deals in Australia or overseas, with the balance not required until 28 days before the stay.

lowcostholidays operates in 11 countries in the UK and Europe and was launched in the US last October. A Sydney-based office has opened in the CBD, with a call centre team of experienced travel consultants being developed to help customers book their next holiday.

Newly appointed lowcostholidays Australian director, Sophie Cann, said she expected 60 per cent of Australian sales to be for international holidays and 40 per cent for domestic getaways, with the site focusing on the best available deals for flight and hotel packages or accommodation only, with properties mostly in the 3-5-star range.

“Capitalising on our advanced technology platform and international team of 400 travel professionals, lowcostholidays offers Australians the highest quality holiday experiences in 45 countries, including Australia, for the lowest possible price,” Ms Cann said. “We know Australians want value-for-money – either at an overseas resort or an interstate hotel – and that’s what lowcostholdays is all about. We negotiate the lowest possible rates with hotels and pass on the savings to our customers. The site is fast and easy to use and we offer free travel and destination advice, flexible booking terms, with low cancellation and amendment charges, and also 24/7 assistance while you are away to ensure your holiday is hassle-free.”

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