lastminute.com’s Tom Davies launches travel start-up

lastminute.com’s Tom Davies launches travel start-up

The former group head of online partnerships at lastminute.com, Tom Davies, is looking to shake-up the holiday industry with his own online travel start-up, Vakay.co.uk.

Davies previously headed up all online partnership activity at online travel icon lastminute.com and saw a gap in the market for a new type of holiday search engine.

The move sees him launch the first travel search engine to provide holiday destination results purely based on the customer's budget and travel dates.

This means travellers are now able to search for holidays without knowing their destination of choice in advance.

Vakay aggregates package holiday pricing from a number of leading partners including Thomson, First Choice, Thomas Cook and OnTheBeach.

It is hoped this will eliminate the long search process involved in finding a holiday within budget, which has been estimated can involve as many as 17 different websites.

Davies said: “I saw a gap in the market for a search engine that simplified the holiday search process, it seemed to me that all of the current websites expected the customer to arrive having done all the hard work themselves.

“I believe that Vakay.co.uk not only saves the customer a lot of research time, but also allows them to discover destinations they wouldn't have otherwise considered.

“The original concept came from my own holiday experiences where hours would be spent searching for destinations that matched my budget, often being bombarded with 'cheap deals' rather than displaying all of the options available.

“When I then saw this trend emerging through customer feedback within the industry, I decided there must be a better way to deliver holiday search.”

In addition to their budget and travel dates, Vakay.co.uk also allows the customer to pivot their destination results based on flight time and temperature preferences.

There are plans in place to develop further pivot options, which will allow the customer to really discover the destination that is perfect for their individual holiday requirements.

Davies’ long term ambition is for Vakay to become the number one holiday search website in the UK, leading to European expansion.