increasing sales using new online technology shouldn’t cost the earth, according to TUI UK head of new media Graham Donoghue.

Donoghue made the claim as he urged travel companies to follow TUI’s lead and innovate online.

Donoghue cited a number of TUI UK’s online initiatives that have enhanced the company’s brand and had a direct impact on sales but haven’t broken the bank.

He told delegates at the Travel Technology Initiative this week TUI UK has 50 podcasts on its website that cost less than £900 to produce. These podcasts are available on both Yahoo and iTunes.

Donoghue also championed the use of online videos to highlight hotels and resorts.

He admitted the videos “are not that low cost” but said they are effective. The company has 1,800 broadband videos on its site, which have “a very good conversion level”.

The videos are also hosted on Google and Apple to be downloaded to video iPods at no cost to the company.

Donoghue added that the company’s online blog has proved popular. Although it has not received “mass volume”, he said a growing number of people are using Google to bookmark the site, including 400 people who bookmarked the site to read on their mobile phones in May.

TUI UK is also launching a database of online holiday offers which will cover 1.5 million deals.

“Innovation does not have to cost a lot of money,” he said. “XML can be used to put the tentacles out on the web. You have to dabble to understand how low cost it is.”

Meanwhile, Donoghue revealed the company has more than one million pay per click search terms on Google.

“Most of them only cost 10p or 15p a click,” he said.