Sunday, June 18, 2006

Depends what you mean by new

Webjet's announcement of a "new" online hotel booking engine received a lot a press in Australia. Webjet first launch Bookabed in mid 2003 so no idea how they can call this either a launch or a new site. The huge valuation of Wotif post float has clearly re-excited David and team at Webjet on the potential for hotel focused businesses. Bookabed's failure first time round was due to poor inventory and insufficient marketing to take on Wotif and the other Australian market leaders and RatesToGo. The only difference we can see so far from the announcement is the addition of S8 inventory. That is not going to be enough to change the fortunes of this not-so-new player. It will get lost in the noise of Lastminute's continued fightback and RatesToGo's continued decline.

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