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Hotels at TO rates… Lowcostbeds wants to facilitate the job of French agencies!

Interview with Elodie Leunen, Sales Director at B2B Europe


Lowcostbeds wants to conquer the market of French travel agencies. The hotel reservation network specialized in leisure destinations deployed a team in Paris this week. Projected goal: triple sales by the end of next year! Interview with Elodie Leunen, Sales Director at B2B Europe.



Hotels at TO rates… Lowcostbeds wants to facilitate the job of French agencies!
TourMaG.Com - You have great ambitions on the French market and you also have a team based in France, can you tell us more about your organization?

Elodie Leunen - Yes, we have a marketing branch only focused on France, an Information Technology (IT) support to integrate French XML along with two buyers with one only focused on Paris.

The team is in place since this summer and we’re looking for the right offices to set up our customer service team.

TourMaG.com - The market of B2B hotel networks is competitive, what makes you different, what’s your added value?

E.L.: Lowcostbeds specializes on vacation destinations. We see ourselves more as a tour-operator than a hotel reservation network.

We take commitments from hotels, and we negotiate rates and availabilities, like a traditional TO, except we don’t handle air travel.

30% of our sales are done on all-included trips and 35% of our sales go towards week-long trips.

Lowcostbeds started in England by riding the wave of the blooming low-cost market in 2004. We offer “à la carte” Tour Operating services to agencies.

This is now a very popular approach in England, but less so in France within traditional agencies.

We’re a logical partner for agencies who want to exploit their low-cost or charter offers. Some traditional tour-operators also use us to create dynamic offers to their clients.

TourMaG.com - Which destinations are popular on the French market?

E.L.: We doubled our stocks on the French’s favorite “beach” destinations. Tunisia was a great winner last year accounting for almost half of our sales on that destination.

We also had to triple availabilities in the Caribbean and Mauritius due to the large demand coming just from France.

We’re just starting to develop on the French market but we’re already seeing its great potential.

Elodie Leunen
Elodie Leunen
TourMaG.com - How many agencies do you collaborate with in France? What are you goals?

E.L.: We haven’t yet developed our offer to traditional agencies in France even though 300 French agencies have linked to us on their own initiative.

Major French online agencies were the first to capture our offer by integrating XML. Recently we also made our hotels available on Orchestra.

It is important for us to proceed in steps to target our offer and minimize financial risks.

Our goals this year are the same as for all our European countries; becoming the primary hotel reservation tool for agencies looking for dynamic packages.

We’re expecting to work with some exclusive partners such as the ones we’ve established with Easyjet in England, for example.

We usually create roadshows in cities that low-cost airline companies fly to since that is our basic market.

TourMaG.com - Are you listed in distribution networks?

E.L.: We have not yet approached French networks but we’ll do that very soon.

In other European countries, we’re already working with large networks: D-Reisen in Holland, Grupo GEO in Spain, Advantage in England, just to mention some of the 86 networks we're already partnered with worldwide.

We will also soon be available on all the GDS and we also want to cooperate with tour-operators.

TourMaG.com - How much is the CA of Lowcostbeds in France? And what are the projected goals?

E.L.: Our current business turnover in France is 7 million euros for last year and we want to triple sales by the end of next year.

And it looks like we’re on the right track to reach this goal!

Written by C.E. translated by Joséphine Foucher the 24/11/2014
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