RealTime IT News

lastminute.com Launches Down-Under

[London, ENGLAND] Late deals specialist lastminute.com has launched a localized Australian version of its site in conjunction with partner travel.com.au.

The new site, at au.lastminute.com, begins with a cheery "Hello there!" and introduces "Our funky flavours" -- in contrast to the U.K. site which often dispenses with formalities and informalities alike.

Intended for users in both Australia and New Zealand, the new site offers the full lastminute range of goods and services, including flights, holidays, hotels, gifts and tickets to shows. It also enables people to store their personal preferences and create their own personalized homepage.

"The launch of lastminute.com Australia is a major step forward in our business strategy, fully developing Australia as a destination for all of our worldwide customers as well as building a vibrant local business," said Brent Hoberman, chief executive officer of lastminute.com.

Partner travel.com.au has contributed some key supplier relationships in the Asia Pacific area, such as the Shangri-La Hotel Group, to the pool of suppliers whose products are available across all the lastminute sites.

A brand building marketing campaign in Australia and New Zealand is now helping to boost the new site.

As lastminute's Vice-President International Business Development Tom Virden pointed out, Australia is the first launch for lastminute outside of Europe. He said it would create further opportunities throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Just a few days ago, lastminute.com announced that it intended to acquire France's Dégriftour Group, making it the largest European-based e-commerce company.