Holiday Extras plans to “remake holidaymaking” with a £1 million recruitment drive and technology improvements set to benefit the trade.
The add-ons specialist has also ventured into the domestic short-breaks market, aiming at Super Break’s former territory.
Elizabeth Hogg, chief operating officer, whose previous roles include chief financial officer at No1 Lounges, joined two months ago.
“We’re recruiting for more than 50 jobs in the UK and Germany, mostly in the UK,” she said.
The roles include contact centre staff and software developers.
“While Holiday Extras operates in the travel sector, it is very much a tech business,” she added.
“What we are hoping to do is continue to grow and get ready to deliver our strategy to ‘remake holidaymaking’,” said Hogg. “We want to use intelligence to anticipate what the customer wants and to search for a number of products in one search.
“At the moment, our HEHA! app allows a search for one product or trip. We’re looking to make it a trip-based search rather than a single product search.”
In future, she said, the app would question how many people were travelling, where to, and make recommendations on customer profiles, such as lounge purchase or meet and greet.
She said the technology would be extended to agents via a version of the HEHA! app. “We are also looking at creating a one-stop search platform for agents. At the moment, they have to run searches for multiple products. It will be a big improvement.”
Another innovation is UK short breaks under the Holiday Extras Breaks brand name, which pairs attractions, and theme parks with hotel stays. A theatre ticket option will be introduced soon. Clients’ money is held in a bonded account to comply with Package Travel Regulations.
“It is built on technology we have in-house and enables customers to easily book breaks,” said Hogg.
She added that the brand’s trade team were “at full capacity” and that an agents’ incentive scheme would be launched on 7 June to coincide with the government’s green list update.