RealTime IT News

Co-op Travel Launches Holiday Auction Service

Internet Travel Auctions, a division of Midlands Co-op Travel, is launching holidayauctions.net on September 1. The site will offer people the chance to grab a bargain by bidding for their chosen holiday online.

"As consumers become increasingly more comfortable with making purchases over the net, it is only logical that holidaymakers will use the technology more and more to choose and book their holidays and flights," said Gill Peachey, general manager of Internet Travel Auctions.

"After all, it is a fun way to shop without any pressures and there's the chance to pick up a genuine bargain. The customer decides how much they want that particular holiday and they make their bid accordingly -- the choice is therefore theirs."

Designed to be an entertaining experience in itself, the site will include useful travel information and advice, weather reports, holiday reviews and health information.

Visitors will be able to bid for their chosen holiday from the auction 'rooms.' Less adventurous holidaymakers can also select from a wide range of packaged tours in the 'fixed price bargain' section.

Each holiday in the auction rooms shows the highest bid to date. When the bidding closes, the successful customer is contacted by e-mail to finalise the purchase. Payment is by credit card, via the Internet or telephone.

According to research firm Datamonitor, European travel sales over the Internet are expected to rise from £7.7 million ($12.3 million) in 1997 to £1.7 billion ($2.72 billion) in 2002.