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Malvern Group hosts first UK showcase

OVER 50 senior representatives of the region’s top travel and leisure brands gathered in the heart of Manchester’s business district Spinningfields today to learn how new booking technology is transforming business.

Malvern Group hosts first UK showcase

Malvern Group hosts first UK showcase of ground-breaking travel technology in Manchester

OVER 50 senior representatives of the region’s top travel and leisure brands gathered in the heart of Manchester’s business district Spinningfields today to learn how new booking technology is transforming business.

The Malvern Group, parent of company of Manchester-based LateRooms.com, Malvern Travel Technology and Super Break, hosted the showcase at the city’s prestigious Ivy restaurant.

Malvern Travel Technology has spent the last two years developing a ground-breaking trip planning booking technology which allows consumers to book all the elements of their trip (hotel, excursions, travel and meals) in one place.

The technology is available in tiered-level white label packages to travel and leisure brands and several major UK household names have already signed up.

Attendees, including senior representatives from brands such as Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Chester Zoo, as well as a host of the region’s hotel groups and independents, were welcomed with a drinks reception followed by a presentation by Executive Chairman of the Malvern Group, Hugo Kimber, a leading figure in the travel industry.

The event follows a recent YouGov poll commissioned by the Malvern Group which found that concerns over unfavourable exchange rates and Brexit have inspired UK travellers to trust in the multi-element packaging market more than ever

Almost half (47%) of UK consumers singled out financial protection (ATOL security) and convenience (47%) as their main reasons for opting for a package trip.

The findings come as good news for domestic travel and leisure brands with UK-based packages the most popular (69%) followed by foreign trips over seven nights (58%).

The poll of over 2000 respondents also showed that the days of standard accommodation and flights package bundles appear to be on the decline. Consumers now want a broader choice of options and experiences under one booking facility. 

While two thirds of consumers still opt for the ‘classic travel bundle’ of accommodation (67%) and flights (65%), over a third (36%) of respondents expressed a demand for the convenience of bus travel (from airport, around destination and key tourist spots) to also be included in packaging a trip, closely followed by train travel (32%).

The survey also found a clear appetite for packaging to include the booking of experiences and activities too, with almost 1 in 5 (19%) expressing a wish for restaurant bookings to be included in their bundles.

Over a quarter (27%) said they’d like museums/attractions and theatre/shows tickets. This reflects recent findings by AITO’s 2018 annual survey that ‘culture, arts and history trips’ are now the number one travel experience sector for UK consumers.

Malvern’s developers have harnessed the latest technology to create a single platform that supports customers’ ability to integrate all their requirements in one place.

Executive Chairman of the Malvern Group, Hugo Kimber said: “It was a pleasure to introduce Malvern Travel Technology’s new trip planning booking platform to so many of the most influential brands in the northern region. The response has been tremendous. Trusted household names have recognised the innovative approach of this white label provision which offers customers even more flexibility, choice and value.

He added: “We are proud to be a northern-based business and very much value our partners in the region. Our new technology will very effectively meet the varying needs of these present and potential partners.”

Malvern Group finds a confidence surge in travel packages

A NEW travel trends online poll from the Malvern Group suggests consumers are keener than ever to book all travel elements in one place, including rail/bus travel, meals and excursions.

Malvern Group finds a confidence surge in travel packages

A NEW travel trends online poll from the Malvern Group suggests consumers are keener than ever to book all travel elements in one place, including rail/bus travel, meals and excursions.

The findings come as good news for domestic travel with UK-based packages the most popular among British customers (69%), followed by short foreign trips ranging from four to seven nights (58%).

Concerns over exchange rates and Brexit have inspired travellers to trust in the packaging market thanks to ‘locked in’ pricing and industry protection. Among the 2000 consumers polled 47% have either booked or plan to book a package holiday in 2019 based on the advantage of financial protection (such as ATOL security) and the ease of booking everything in one place (also 47%) as their main reasons for opting for a package holiday.

The online survey showed that the days of standard accommodation and flights package bundles appear to be on the decline. Consumers now want a broader choice of options and experiences under one booking facility.

While two thirds of consumers still opt for the ‘classic travel bundle’ of accommodation (67%) and flights (65%), over a third (36%) of respondents expressed a demand for bus travel (from airport, around destination) to also be included in packaging a trip, closely followed by train travel (32%).

The survey also found a clear appetite for modern packaging to include the booking of experiences and activities too, with almost 1 in 5 (19%) also expressing a wish for restaurant bookings to be included in their bundles. 

Almost a fifth (17%) said they’d like museums/attractions options and 10% said they would like theatre/shows tickets to be included in their booking. This reflects recent findings by AITO’s 2018 annual survey that ‘culture, arts and history trips’ are now the number one travel experience sector for UK consumers. 

Technology is spearheading travel bookings with 63% using digital platforms - PC/laptop (39%), smart phones (12%) and tablets (12%) - to book breaks, as compared to just 6% of those surveyed who book in-store via a travel agent. 

Malvern Travel Technology’s trip planning platform is embracing these packaging and booking trends with user-friendly travel tech that delivers limitless experiences and memories.

We have been able to harness the latest technology into a platform that supports customers’ ability to integrate all their requirements in one place. 

Hugo Kimber, Malvern Group’s Executive Chairman said: “This new survey supports our own research that customers are looking for more choice and in one place. Designing packages that meet the call for more variety and options is at the forefront of Malvern Travel Technology. It’s largely why and how our ground breaking trip planning platform was developed. 

He added: “We are delighted the platform is being showcased and embraced by major travel industry brands. The response has been tremendous. Trusted household names have recognised the innovative approach of this white label provision which offers suppliers expansion and customers even more flexibility, choice and value.”

New Director of Product Supply for Malvern Group

Malvern Group, parent company of LateRooms.com, Super Break and Malvern Travel Technology is delighted to announce the promotion of Chris Hagan to Director of Product Supply.

New Director of Product Supply for Malvern Group

Malvern Group, parent company of LateRooms.com, Super Break and Malvern Travel Technology is delighted to announce the promotion of Chris Hagan to Director of Product Supply. 

Part of the Malvern Group Senior Management Team, Chris’ role focuses on all aspects of product supply for the iconic consumer brands – LateRooms.com and Super Break, as well as the new B2B brand, Malvern Travel Technology. 

Chris, who has been with the company for 15 years within the product team, has over 20 years experience in the travel industry, working previously in various roles in retail travel agencies. Chris leads a team based across Manchester and York, responsible for developing and contracting new products and concepts, building and maintaining relationships with suppliers, product propositions and working with B2B partners to tailor products to their brand.

Chris Hagan said: “This is a very exciting time for Malvern Group as we have ambitious plans to build on the success of our current consumer brands by expanding into the B2B space with a new trip booking technology. 

“B2B partners will have the opportunity to benefit from the product supply and expertise of Malvern Group, enabling them to offer their customers the entire trip planning process from beginning to end - and I’m incredibly excited about being a part of this new stage in the company’s growth.

“The role of the product team is so diverse – from developing new exclusive propositions, such as Super Break’s charter programme to Akureyri in North Iceland to working with suppliers across a variety of sectors - and I am very much looking forward to leading the team as we expand into the B2B arena.”

Super Break partners with Ideal World Shopping Channel

For the first time, short break specialist Super Break will be partnering with the Ideal World shopping channel for a series of one-hour shows showcasing a selection of overseas and UK breaks.

Super Break partners with Ideal World Shopping Channel

For the first time, short break specialist Super Break will be partnering with the Ideal World shopping channel for a series of one-hour shows showcasing a selection of overseas and UK breaks.

The first one-hour show will air on Thursday January 10th at 6pm featuring a range of travel offers, including a family break to London, Magic Mike Live concert breaks and ‘Friday Night Out’ packages across the UK.

The show will also feature Super Break’s exclusive breaks to North Iceland - including the first direct flights to Akureyri in North Iceland from a range of regional airports. From £499pp – the 3 or 4 night breaks also include accommodation in a 3* or 4* hotel and two excursions worth £200pp: ‘Search for the Northern Lights’ evening tour – and ‘Lake Myvatn – Land of Fire and Ice’ full day tour.

Viewers will also have the opportunity to book onto the exclusive ‘Lake Myvatn: Winter Wilderness’ fully guided tour which offers a bespoke trip to see the natural wonders of Iceland: including the beautiful Godafoss Waterfall, the stunning Lake Myvatn area and a chance to hunt for the Northern Lights.

The short break specialist will also be offering a special prize draw for anyone who books during the show (6pm-7pm on Thursday 10th Jan) with a £100 Super Break voucher available to win. All bookers will also be automatically entered into a further prize draw to win their holiday for free for any bookings made before 7PM on Sunday 13th Jan  (T&C’s apply).

Katherine Scott, Head of Marketing said: “We are excited to partner with Ideal World for the first time and to bring our range of short breaks to a new audience. We’ve hand-picked a selection of some of our most popular breaks – from once-in-a-liftetime trips to Iceland to family breaks to London, so that we have something for all budgets. Whether you are looking to book your next overseas getaway or plan a weekend away in the UK, the show is designed to appeal to a wide range of viewers.”

Tune in to the first show - which will be presented by Chris Hagan, Director of Product Supply at Malvern Group, on Thursday 10th Jan at 6pm on Sky 664, Freeview 22, Virgin 747, Freesat 812 and at www.idealworld.tv

Find out more on https://www.superbreak.com/marketing/super-exclusive-offers

For more information or images, please contact pr@superbreak.com   

LateRooms.com Partners With Illumination & Universal Pictures

LateRooms.com (part of the Malvern Group) has partnered with Universal Pictures and Illumination’s The Grinch to offer one lucky winner the Ultimate Festive Break.

LateRooms.com Partners With Illumination & Universal Pictures

LateRooms.com (part of the Malvern Group) has partnered with Universal Pictures and Illumination’s The Grinch to offer one lucky winner the Ultimate Festive Break.

Fans of the classic Dr Seuss tale can not only look forward to seeing The Grinch which is now in cinemas, but also enter a Christmas travel competition like no other.

In collaboration with Universal Pictures and masters of animation, Illumination, LateRooms.com has created a prize fabulous enough to turn even the grumpiest of Grinchs into holiday-loving Whos – the chance to stay in a luxury hotel room magically transformed into the Mount Crumpet lair.

Unlike the Grinch, this is for fans who LOVE Christmas. Their prize includes an overnight stay in a one of a kind suite at the 4* The Strand Palace, in the heart of London’s West End, on Thursday 20th December 2018.

The room, decorated in authentic Whoville style, will feature a sleigh bed, snow covered floors, candy cane lighting, and snowflakes falling from the ceiling… the Grinch would hate it!

There will also be lots of extra surprises for the winner too. At the base of a sparkling Christmas tree, our lucky winners will find some very special presents from the mean one himself - who knew he could be so nice!

As part of the experience, the lucky winner will also get tickets to a skating experience at the National History Museum. And the winners need not worry about making their own way there, the Grinch has arranged for them to ride in style as they take off across London in a horse drawn carriage taking in some of the breath-taking light displays along the way.

The winner will then head back to The Strand Palace to cosy up for the night in their matching Grinch PJs to enjoy room service with a special bespoke menu.

The next morning the lucky winner and guest will enjoy breakfast before heading to the cinema to see – what else – The Grinch!

So, for an experience of a lifetime simply enter the competition here by answering this question: ‘What do you love most about Christmas?’.

Competition T&Cs available here - entries closed midnight on 7th December 2018.

LateRooms.com Business Partners with Meetingsbooker.com

Corporate travel specialists LateRooms.com Business (part of the Malvern Group) is delighted to announce they have partnered with Meetingsbooker.com the global leader in meeting space discovery and online bookings.

LateRooms.com Business Partners with Meetingsbooker.com

Corporate travel specialists LateRooms.com Business (part of the Malvern Group) is delighted to announce they have partnered with Meetingsbooker.com the global leader in meeting space discovery and online bookings.

Business customers can now book and manage not only their accommodation but also reserve meetings spaces using Meetingsbooker.com’s innovative technology.

The move comes as LateRooms.com Business expands its services and incentives to the business travel market, which recently included the launch of a cost-saving payment solution in partnership with Diners Ltd.

LateRooms.com Business customers already enjoy a free service that includes a dedicated account manager, access to over 240,000 hotels worldwide at reduced corporate rates and a speedy consolidated booking and payment process.

Now thanks to the Meetingsbooker.com partnership, business travellers can discover great places to meet in hotels, co-working spaces and unique venues and book them online in minutes. Meetingsbooker.com includes over 125,000 meeting spaces in 134 countries around the world.

Graeme Descoteaux, Head of LateRooms.com Business, said: “This is a perfect partnership in that it brings great convenience to our valued business travel customers who not only want the best in service and quality when booking accommodation but also meeting spaces too.”

Ciaran Delaney, CEO of Meetingsbooker.com added: “Meetings are the last part of business travel to be bookable online, but not anymore. Meetingsbooker.com allows you to easily discover and book spaces around the world. We are delighted to offer our solution to the Laterooms.com customers.”

To set up a free account with LateRooms.com Business please email: business@laterooms.com or visit https://www.laterooms.com/meetings

 

New Technology to Meet the Needs of the Modern Traveller

Malvern Group launches Malvern Travel Technology (MTT) as a specialist B2B travel technology provider in response to research showing clear market demand...

New Technology to Meet the Needs of the Modern Traveller

Hugo Kimber, Executive Chairman of Malvern Group  featured in this year's Travolution European Summit Report to discuss how research has informed the launch of new B2B brand Malvern Travel Technology and the delivery of a ground breaking new travel platform....

The research indicated an increasing customer frustration with the complexity of planning and self-booking a short trip with multiple components. Malvern could see from our own brands, (established consumer brands LateRooms.com and Super Break), the steadily increasing cost of customer acquisition since 2015 and lower levels of loyalty in commodity only purchase, compared to traditional short breaks delivered as a pre-set package. Both were substantially lower than they would be for a specialist tour operator.

The research confirmed the company’s assumption that demand for ‘tech-flexi itineraries’, where travellers can book and adapt journey plans in one place online or via an app, would improve commercial performance by giving the customer what they were asking for, not what the industry is generally prepared to give them.

Instead of exploring countless different sites for inspiration, planning and experiences, a growing number of travellers want to be able to plan using technology that is available to them elsewhere in their daily experience. Malvern were able to harness the latest technology into a single platform that supports customers’ ability to integrate all these requirements in one place.

The demand for such technology has been increasing among businesses keen to capture a wider market and Malvern have developed the platform for use as a software product for partners, not as an exclusive in-house product. The industry demand has been further increased in Europe by the new package travel regulations which require commodity providers like airlines and hotels to take more responsibility for linked travel arrangements. This requires supporting management of transactions through technology and militates in favour of more integrated platform provision of services to customers.

The group has launched Malvern Travel Technology (MTT) in direct response to this clear market demand set and have positioned MTT as a specialist B2B travel technology provider. Powered by Wizian, MTT’s own ground-breaking technology platform, it provides a unique and highly innovative web-based solution for corporate partners and their customers.

Executive Chairman, Hugo Kimber, says: “We identified the direction we saw the market travelling in in late 2015 and validated this through extensive research in 2016. Delivering a solution to the planning, inspiration and flexible booking requirements of customers pre-trip and in trip had the capacity to increase conversion and loyalty thus reducing acquisition costs.

“The launch of the platform is designed entirely to meet the combined needs of travellers and their providers, a new departure in travel technology that traditionally supports the traveller or the needs of the supplier, but not generally both in tandem.

“The use of the UK as a launch market for the platform reflects the strength of our brands in this market and our ability to support existing partners with improved functionality and a wide range of supply options.  The scale of our customer base in the UK through LateRooms and Super Break allowed insights into consumer behaviour that research alone may not have helped to validate. It was also important to begin with a genuine national destination roll out, not a capital city and a few other major cities as national capability is key to being able to replicate the model internationally.

He adds: “Wizian, which does this seamlessly, is driven by a combination of IT expertise that was present at LateRooms and the combined marketing, commercial and product expertise of two of the UK’s leading travel brands. Under Malvern Travel Technology, we can now use our dedicated resources to provide solutions to a whole range of companies and their customers. We have already partnered with a large travel provider and are very excited that such a trusted and forward-thinking brand has recognised the potential of our solution in making the world of travel even more exciting and easy to manage.”

Kimber stresses that the technology behind Wizian will make for more freedom and flexibility for travellers too. He says: “The way both business and leisure travel has functioned has been very mechanical. If you want to go somewhere on business or for fun you will book a hotel and some transport, and then book a restaurant, show or meeting room when you get there. Being able to bypass this busking approach to great experiences when you travel by making informed choices and balancing spontaneity with local demand patterns is a key requirement.

“Our solution is to bring ease when pulling in things – activities, experiences, additional bookings - into your itinerary seamlessly, as you are on the move. That’s what Wizian delivers. Travel is not static and nor should the planning and booking experience be either.”

Europe is a very well developed online travel market and Wizian’s arrival on to the European and global travel technology market is an exciting step in further expanding this development. The UK and Scandinavia are especially receptive to mobile platforms but the continued online demand in general is supportive of the Wizian approach. [Travel industry research firm] Phocuswright forecasts 58% of European travel will be booked online by 2020, with 50% in the US and 43% in Asia Pacific.

Kimber observes: “We are already very strong on mobile and this new technology is primarily aimed at mobile. Malvern Travel Technology (MTT) will be the most comprehensive trip product on the market. In response to market trends and industry demands, it will provide end to end online delivery of information and booking capability creating value through the entire transactional chain from supplier, to intermediary and customer. Its sounds like a nirvanic but it follows the simple premise of giving customers what they ask for and expanding their choice by creating local marketplaces for the smallest supplier that can be delivered by national and international travel providers.

“With Malvern Travel Technology and the Wizian digital solution behind it, we see travel booking trends changing for the better as more and more travellers embrace unified and integrated journey experiences, all in one place. Saying goodbye to the use of multiple screens and booking/review sites for a two night stay is a huge opportunity for Malvern and one that has been talked about, but not delivered, by the industry until now.”

Malvern Group Sponsor the Travolution Euro Summit 2018

Parent company of LateRooms.com, Super Break and Malvern Travel Technology announced as a key sponsor at this year’s event...

Malvern Group Sponsor the Travolution Euro Summit 2018

Parent company of LateRooms.com, Super Break and Malvern Travel Technology announced as a key sponsor at this year’s event

The Malvern Group has been announced as one of the headline sponsors of this year’s Travolution European Summit.

The annual event, to be held in London on 26 September, tackles the biggest issues facing digital travel.

This year, the Malvern Group which encompasses LateRooms.com, Super Break and new brand, Malvern Travel Technology, will feature at several events.

Executive Chairman Hugo Kimber will speak at a seminar focusing on AI (Artificial Intelligence) in digital travel and the group will also sponsor the annual event’s attendees dinner.

The event will be an opportunity to introduce industry peers to Malvern Travel Technology and their state of art new booking platform aimed at B2Bs that is set to revolutionise digital trip reservations.

Speaking before the event, Executive Chairman Hugo Kimber said: “We are delighted to be a key presence at this year’s Travolution European Summit. It is a leading event for those in the digital travel industry and a brilliant opportunity to glean the very latest in trends and exciting changes.

He added: “We will be largely featuring Malvern Travel Technology and our ground-breaking booking platform technology, called Wizian. We are certain our peers and B2B parties will find the new technology a huge game-changer to the digital market.”

The Malvern Group is a leading UK-based travel and technology company, offering award-winning travel products and services to customers and business partners through its brands, LateRooms.com, Super Break, and Malvern Travel Technology.

Malvern’s mission is to reimagine trips for tomorrow, delivering inspirational travel experiences and solutions for our partners and customers.

For more information on the Malvern Group, go to: www.malvern.group

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