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Holiday Factory to target mass market in UAE

Abdul Basit
Filed on May 18, 2011

DUBAI The newly launched Holiday Factory has planned to target mass market in the UAE through its economical and affordable tour packages.

The company, which claims first-of-its-kind package tour operator in the country, said it will follow the well-known style of complete tour package operator that is very successful in European countries since 1970.

Holiday Factory said it offers a real package which always includes return flights, hotel, return airport transfers and the services of a tour representative. The starting price of its introductory offer to Istanbul will cost as little as Dh1,290. The company also offers competitive and affordable package deals on holidays to 23 destinations in Asia, Europe, Indian Ocean and the Middle East.

The system of affordable package holidays revolutionised the travel industry and has been available to the European and other markets for over 40 years.

Most travel agencies offer packages that are expensive compared to that in the other markets making if possible only for a few to afford the same. This is where Holiday Factory wants to bridge this gap that currently exists in the market without compromising on quality.

“We want to encourage middle class to plan dream holidays as our packages are designed to serve this segment otherwise almost all the tour operators are offering luxury holidays,” Holiday Factory Chief Executive Officer Hakan Bakar told Khaleej Times in an interview.

Owned by a German holding company Brainnox Investment & Management Group, Holiday Factory introduces the concept of mass tourism in the UAE and the company also sees potential in other parts of the Gulf for the middle class segment.

“It’s just a beginning and we want to open more factories in other parts of the Gulf region, but Dubai will remain our headquarters,” Bakar said. He claimed that tourists from the UAE are spending around 50 per cent more compared to European tourists on same flight and same star hotel accommodation.

Excerpts from the interview:

What is your target market and how different is your product from others?

We will target mass market and focus on more volume with less profit, but without compromising on quality of the product. The existing tour operators have products, but those products are high class and only cater to luxury tourists. They used to do this because they belong to airlines, which are high quality. So the package, flight, and hotel with these airlines make sense to make it five-star. Our product is for middle class and we want them to plan their dream holidays in world famous tourists destinations. We are offering 25 countries and our launch offer is for Istanbul where the company is offering complete package including hotel, flight and return transfer at a price starting from Dh1,290 and it will not go over Dh2,000 even in the high season. Like Istanbul, we have same kind of offers for Beirut, Cairo, Berlin, Rome, and Far Eastern countries.

What is the secret behind these lower packages?

Actually the most important thing is that we are not depending on the data banks. You will not find every hotel in our brochures as all the hotels available are very carefully chosen. We met the decision makers to negotiate the prices. We have on the contract all together 237 hotels. Last year I was more in the air between November 1 and March 25 this year to see all the hotels and meet decision makers for negotiating the hotel rates.

We are also working with 20 airlines including UAE airlines for special rates and for some destinations we have more than one airline.

Why you chose Dubai for launching this company?

Holiday Factory is owned by a German holding company Brainnox, which has the knowledge and industry capabilities to offer full support to the company. Brainnox Investment & Management Group is based here in Dubai for the last six years and its CEO has the experience of tour operator company in Germany. He believes that there is no real package tour operator in the UAE. So he decides to open a tour operator company on the pattern that is famous in Europe since 1970.

What would be your channel to sell this product?

We are opening our own office in Dubai Festival City to offer this product, but our main sales channel will be travel agents. We are talking to them and our target is to work with all of the travel agents in the UAE. Travel agents are very happy with this product. They are people sitting on the front of the clients and give them assistance to book their holidays. We are the people on background and producing these holidays for their needs. So this combination is missing here and off-course these travel are very well known companies, they will test us first.

Since you are a new company, so what would be your marketing strategy to get market share?

It’s very important for every new establishment and we have a huge budget for marketing our product. The company has printed around 1,00,000 brochures of 200-page with complete information in Arabic and English with fixed rates for complete package including hotel, flight and transfer. These will be distributed by travel agencies and our in-house logistic company.

Another striking feature in the brochure is that the total package price is fixed, the price you see is the price you pay. This is for all bookings made whether it’s with a local travel agency, on our website or in our outlet.

The brochure details trips to Europe including Turkey, Italy, France, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary. Asia destinations feature India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia whilst Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan are included in the Middle East region. Honeymooners haven’t been left out with the Maldives, Mauritius and the Seychelles featuring in the Indian Ocean section.

· abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com


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