Kuoni parent DER Touristik’s new direct-sell long-haul brand Meraki Travel has been put on hold to carry out work on its website.

UK chief executive Derek Jones told a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast at the Abta Travel Convention in Tokyo that booking long-haul travel purely online was hard.

Therefore, the site had to be taken down for more work before being relaunched.

The Meraki brand was revealed at last year’s Abta Travel Convention in Seville.

But the company confirmed that its marketing had been “paused” as it looks to improve online booking experience 

Meraki general manager Matthew Hodgson said: “Following learnings from the soft launch, we decided to pause our online traffic-driving marketing to make improvements to the online customer experience.

“However, we still had the main website live, so customers could continue visiting, booking and travelling.

“We paused because we learned a lot from the data gathered during the first six months of this year. Mainly we learned that we needed to make some improvements to the user journey, some small tweaks but also some bigger changes which could be achieved with improved design.” 

He added: “It’s clear that there is a huge interest in what we’re creating and demand is there but before we move into phase two we wanted to invest in getting the site absolutely right.  

“The new site should be ready to re-launch at the end of this month.”