Gohop.com, the Atlas Travel subsidiary and Irish version of MSN’s Expedia.com, is to invest between €1m and €2m in a new XML-based platform that will enable people to dynamically book hotel, flights, insurance, car rental in a single sitting, siliconrepublic.com has learned.
Over 15,000 Irish consumers use the holiday search facility of Gohop.ie every week and with the increased availability of broadband in Ireland, more and more people are moving to the internet to plan and book their travel arrangements. Developments in travel technology also mean that customers are now able to book increasingly more complex itineraries online. Last week alone, Gohop.com reported sales of €192,000.
In an interview with siliconrepublic.com, Stephen McKenna, the e-procurement director of Atlas Travel, said that the company is investing up to €2m in the new platform that is expected to go live in four to six weeks. The company is working with Irish travel technology firm Datalex as well as Digital Hub-based OpenJaw Technologies to deploy the dynamic booking engine.
McKenna explained: “Atlas Travel has been in business for over 30 years and we deployed Gohop.com 18 months before Michael O’Leary’s Ryanair took to the web to take bookings. We aggregate flights through the site for some 500 airlines and 50,000 hotels and properties every year.
“The traditional package holiday is on the decline and people want flexibility. We are beginning to see the rise of the do-it-yourself holiday where people search for the best deals out there. Technology is definitely moving in that direction.
“The new platform uses XML to allow holiday shoppers to dynamically package a holiday themselves, seeking the best deals and paying for it all as part of a single package. In essence they are truly beginning to avail of the benefits derived from internet technology thus helping them to streamline their business and reduce their costs accordingly,” McKenna said.
By John Kennedy