TUI Northern Europe new media director Graham Donoghue said he was in talks with 360TravelGuides to use its yet-to-be-launched hotel content.
The virtual tours firm has developed 1,000 hotel picture tours worldwide. Co-director Paul Baderman said final details of the deal were being ironed out and Thomson could well be the launch partner of the hotel tours.
Donoghue has expanded its original 12-month deal with 360TravelGuides from 33 to 50 resort guides after receiving one million hits on the guides in 2006.
And Baderman revealed the guides on Thomson’s site have already received more than 450,000 hits in 2007.
Guides to be added as part of the new 12-month contract included “places you wouldn’t necessarily think of Thomson for” such as Australia, New Zealand, Helsinki and London, he said.
Original resort and city guides covered Malaga, the Costa del Sol, Dublin, Palma and Barcelona.
Donoghue said it was impossible to link the popularity of the guides with an increase in bookings. However, he did highlight bookings were up 38% year on year in January, and during the same month the guides received 200,000 hits. Traffic to the site is also up 50% this year with users also spending far longer on the site per visit.
Baderman said the guides were gaining in popularity with a number of other tour operators on the verge of signing up to use the content on their websites. However, he refused to reveal which operators he was talking to.
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