Most holidays still booked by phone, says travel company boss


MOST holidaymakers still book by phone instead of the web, said the chief executive of a budget travel company.

Paul Evans, of Low Cost Travel Group, told a conference that on a good day his call centre converted one in five calls into a booking.  Web sales conversions were less than one per cent, despite the fact that the site had been redesigned and made easier to use.

Later, a director of the company, Lawrence Hunt, said that on average 1,000 people booked via the web site out of 30,000 daily visitors.  The call centre converted 150-200 calls into sales out of 1,000 daily calls.

Mr Evans, speaking to an audience of travel professionals, said: “Telephone is our most successful sales channel and it’s higher value business.

“ On a decent web site your might get a conversion as high as seven per cent, especially if it’s a commodity, but all this stuff about sexy online play…don’t kid yourself.  If it’s a multi-product site, conversion could be 0.5 per cent — that’s half a person in every 100.”

The reason, he said: “The holiday is still aspirational. It’s complicated to research, money shelled out early and a large purchase item in the family budget.”


Paul Evans, of Low Cost Travel Group