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Leisureplanet Launches UK Travel Service

Leisureplanet, the Internet-based travel service, announced the launch of its service in the UK, co-branded with Lycos Bertelsmann. This week's UK launch follows successful rollouts in Germany and France last week.

The Leisureplanet service is tailored to each local market and offers comprehensive facilities to the traveller. Users get access to low-cost negotiated airfares, car rentals, and to an illustrated hotel guide that features over 38,000 hotels, including 8,000 independent establishments.

Ticket sales, customer service and the provision of travel deals that are unique to each market are the responsibility of a local travel partner. In the UK, that local partner is airfare consolidator and package holiday operator Major Travel.

"We were impressed with the call centre operations and fares database at Major Travel. In particular, their strength with the national carrier British Airways on negotiated airfares that are not available in traditional flight reservation systems will satisfy public demand," said Pierre Kleinhans, Leisureplanet's CEO.

"The main reason we chose Leisureplanet to be our premier travel partner, was because of their strategy to offer travel services in most European countries. Lycos Bertelsmann already offers local content in local languages in 12 European countries. The travel services provided by Leisureplanet will allow Lycos to offer their users a unique European Internet travel experience," said Tony Philipp, COO of Lycos Bertelsmann.

Leisureplanet is operated by Leisure Planet, a travel services company that is 81 percent owned by First South Africa Corporation. At a meeting on April 29, First South Africa Corporation is asking shareholders for their approval for a name-change -- to Leisure Planet Holdings Ltd.