Premium operator Kuoni is to launch a new brand in the UK for tailor-made trips booked online.
The move was announced last night at the annual launch of the operator’s Worldwide Trends report, by managing director Derek Jones.
He revealed few details, including the name of the new brand, but said it will launch “within the next four to five months”.
“It will be an online tailor-made proposition,” he said. “Many years ago we were one of the first companies to attempt to deliver that online but I think that the technology has moved on. We are really excited about it.”
Jones said the development was an endorsement of the performance of the UK division of Kuoni by German parent DER Touristik, which bought the tour operating arm of the Swiss firm in June 2015.
He said the parent company is very happy with the firm’s performance and prepared to invest in the UK to spur innovation.
Talking to Travel Weekly after making the announcement, Jones said the new brand would benefit as much from the application of technology as opposed to new types of tech.
“It’s not really about the tech, it’s about how you apply the tech. The mistake many firms have made is to try to recreate the full tailor-made experience online.
“Actually even today the technology does not exist to do that. It’s not just a question of one hotel booking followed by another followed by another, it’s all the logistics in between. It gets complicated very quickly.”
Jones said he expects the new brand to appeal to well-travelled affluent individuals and couples who are not yet parents but are looking for accessible tailor-made itineraries.
He likened how the new booking process will work to how vehicles are sold today with customer able to choose from a range of models and additional extras to personalise the product to them.
These multiple options can be effectively pre-built behind the scenes and made available for customer to choose and create an itinerary that is unique to them.
“We think we can come up with a really cool way to allow customers to do this. It’s about the way you build the product, the interface and the journey online and how you position the brand,” said Jones.
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