Travelzoo sees largest ever increase in subscribers

Travelzoo is getting close to 1.4m UK subscribers, with 67,400 signing up so far in July.

The deals publisher announced its Q2 2009 results this week, in which the overall business saw the biggest quarterly increase in subscriber numbers in its history.

During the quarter it added 1.3m, bringing the number to 16.7m.

Chris Loughlin, Travelzoo’s MD for Europe, said that business would continue to invest in adding quality subscribers to its list, even if the costs of enhancing its list was having an impact on its return.

“The business is managed for long-term profitability,” he said, “and in the current climate we can acquire subscribers at a reasonable cost.”

Across Europe, Travelzoo added 408K subscribers in Q2 at an average cost of $2.74. In the first three months of 2009, it added fewer – 295K- at a higher average cost – $3.09.

Revenues from Europe have increased by 100% in local currency in two consecutive quarters, with Q2s operating loss coming in at $1.1m. “If you take out our subscriber acquisition costs we’re close to break even,” he pointed out.

Subscribers are sourced through a mix of the usual online channels and also by word of mouth. Loughlin said he “wasn’t opposed to trying offline but there’s no real need because we’re flying.”

He was also confident that Travelzoo could cope with the low barriers to entry in the deals publishing business. “It’s more than just buying a list,” he said. “It’s taken us years to build the trust, with consumers but also with the advertisers.”

Loughlin added that fly.com, Travelzoo’s vertical search engine for flights, had entered its final testing stage in Europe.

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