Travel agents

WTM 2017: Smyrooms to push into UK market with tech, product and Magic Rooms brand

Posted by Lee Hayhurst on
WTM 2017: Smyrooms to push into UK market with tech, product and Magic Rooms brand

The new Spanish parent of trade bed bank Magic Travel will build on the presence the brand has established in the UK market as it looks to scale up its operations.

OTA Logitravel, which owns global leisure bed bank Smyrooms, acquired Magic from Holiday Malta parent SMS Group and founder and former Thomas Cook chief Manny Fontenla-Nova last week.

Speaking to Travolution at last week’s World Travel Market, Smyrooms chief executive Samuel Selma, said the firm was looking for scale on the back of its in-house technology and product.

“We have very good product for us, and so it’s good for our clients. Part of our strategy now is we need to get bigger size and scale.

“As part of our business strategy we bought Magic Rooms because it’s important to access the UK XML market and the UK travel agency market.”

Selma said Smyrooms was working on establishing integrations with the main B2B selling platforms in the UK with Vibe and Intuitive already live and Traveltek due to go live shortly.

The firm already has established partners in the UK including BA Holidays, Instant Travel and Bookabed, said Selma.

“To begin with we will keep the Magic name to focus 100% on the UK because they have a team and operation here and good relationships with travel agencies,” he added.

“For us there a lot of synergies. We will integrate their technology with ours because that’s our focus and where we are strong.”

Selma said the key factor is speed of serving up results in a competitive supplier market in which every millisecond can count.

Smytravel has over 20,000 directly contracted properties and feeds from around 200 other aggregators including destination management companies.

“We are offering to the market maximum availability and competitiveness,” Selma said. “It’s a very competitive market in the UK and there are a lot of established relationships.

“We are working hard to build relationships, showing our prices are competitive and that we have a diverse range of product.”

Family-run Logitravel, which is based in Palma, Majorca, was established in 2004 as an online leisure travel agent. This year the group will turnover €250 million.

It now operates in a number of overseas markets including Italy, France, the UK, Finland, Russia, Brazil and Mexico.

Selma said as the firm grew rapidly it needed to scale so it decided to launch a bed bank in 2015 to take advantage of its own contracting and aggregating capabilities.

As well as leisure beach hotels in holiday hotspots like Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Malta and Croatia it also specialises in cruise, and city break and ski product.

Former MSC Cruises director of sales Stephen Moffett joined in August last year following a stint at Tourico Holidays UK and Ireland director of sales. He now also covers Scandinavia and the Netherlands.

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