The new business challenge being faced by Travel.com.au is how to convert the increasing number of browsers
into buyers. Although an increasing number of people are using the site as a resource, not all of them are actually
'There is only one way that people are going to make the shift across to buying online, and that is because the
experience is better,' says Gair.
The company's response to this challenge is to focus on keeping the site relevant to its customers, by adding value
to their existing core services. The company believes that extending their services will result in a greater conversion
of these buyers into sales. They have responded by enhancing the site and offering the following:
- Niche products and services which focus on the needs of specific travellers such as business-people, skiers
or gay tourists.
- Member services such as a Personal Profile, which seeks to match existing holiday and tourist packages to suit
a client's stated needs.
- Loyalty programmes, incentives and exclusive offers for members.
- Weekly communication - a free email newsletter outlining the latest specials.
- Other value-added services such as travel insurance, travellers cheques, visa arrangements, and tourist information.
- By constantly upgrading and developing its Website, Travel.com.au is able to offer a range of services unavailable
in retail travel shops. By expanding into niche markets and specific geographical markets, Travel.com.au is developing
strategies unique to Internet travel.
The decision has paid off, with Travel.com.au now recognised as Australia's leading Internet travel company, and
a global player with joint ventures in Japan and South Africa. The award-winning site attracts up to 8000 visitors
daily and has traded in excess of AUD $40 million dollars in the period 1998 to 1999.