Keith Prowse to return under new owners

Keith Prowse to return under new owners

The Keith Prowse name has made a comeback after being bought by a provider of ticketing distribution technology and it is seeking agent partners.

Keith Prowse Attraction Tickets failed as a supplier and agency in 2010 with the loss of 100 jobs when the brand was owned by Seatem Group, which was forced to call in administrators.

The technology that Seatem used in-house, called TicketSwitch, was sold to Oakfield Capital Partners, which set up Ingresso to establish a new global distribution system for tickets and events.

Oakfield also acquired the Keith Prowse brand from Seatem and this is being used to sell direct, and to attract interest from ticket retailers to work as affiliates on a profit share basis.

Robin Allen, Ingresso head of travel and attractions, said it was reintroducing the Keith Prowse name for agents and portals to establish free over-branded booking websites.

One of the earliest partners to sign up has been Innstant Travel, which operates its own network of agents selling hotel, and now ancillary travel product.

“This is not about trying to rebuild Keith Prowse as it was – that’s not the business we are in,” Allen said.  "Technology is at the core of our business and we are not a ticketing agency.

“Our system offers low-cost access to a vast array of untapped customers and channels to producers, promoters and ticket vendors.

“Oakfield recognised that the TicketSwitch software had really been underused and recognised an opportunity to use it externally as a distribution platform plugging it into box office systems.

“At the same time they bought the trading rights for Keith Prowse, because from a consumer point of view, it had strong awareness.

“Our core business is the distribution through affiliates and distribution platforms and, to a certain extent for us, Keith Prowse is another affiliate. We can make that available for people who want their own log in and want to set their own margin and that could be travel agents.”

Allen said popular product currently available includes Golden Tours in London, city sightseeing specialist Grey Line, and theme park tickets in Orlando.

“Our growth plans are substantial and global,” Allen added. “The equity guys have made a substantial investment and the growth curve is steep.

“We are talking to some very big partners with regard to connecting to their ticketing systems.”

The Ingresso system connects the retailer directly into the suppliers’ booking systems, which helps to cut down the costs and administration of selling tickets.

It allows live access to inventory and can offer various levels of integration with agents, from a simple link to a white-label website or full XML integration.

Allen said there were no plans to heavily market keithprowse.com direct to the consumer, but it does showcase what the technology can do.

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