Travel Agents

“We are the #1 OTA”: Webjet MD

Webjet Limited has released its 2017 Company Review, addressing the OTA’s achievements in the B2B space and well as its 2017 growth.

In his opening letter of the review, Webjet Managing Director John Guscic said the company was the number one OTA and had become a “global leader” in B2B space.

“The Webjet OTA continues to gain share as the #1 online travel agent in Australia and New Zealand.”

“With flight bookings growing more than six times the underlying market during the year,” he added.

Guscic pinned the growth down to the OTA’s ability to help travellers better than ever before.

“This growth was across both domestic and international flight segments.”

“[It] is largely due to our ongoing efforts to better understand our consumers and offer them the greatest convenience and choice when booking their travel needs,” Guscic said.

While speaking of the growth, Guscic also suggested that while there had been growth in car and motorhomes, bookings for cruises had suffered as a result of “weather”.

Guscic touted Webjet as the leading global OTA for B2B, and said there were three major milestones which aided the growth.

“Firstly, the strategic sourcing partnership with Thomas Cook… In November 2016 we launched FIT Ruums, our entry strategy into the fast growing Asian B2B market.”

“More recently, in August 2017, we announced the transformational acquisition of JacTravel.”

Guscic added Webjet had experienced “growth in all markets”.

“Bookings growth in all markets demonstrated the importance of building a global business able to deliver deep inventory at attractive prices to a wide range of customers.”

“We have delivered superior organic bookings growth across all our businesses and we are focused on continuing to deliver profitable growth going forward.”

Going forward, Guscic said, “Our strategy is to grow share in each of our markets and we have set three year booking growth targets.”

The address comes hot on the heels of news that Webjet execs’ bonuses have more than tripled.

In its second most recent ASX announcement, Webjet stated its Executive Teams’ bonuses will grow from 15 per cent to 55 per cent for 2018.

“Under the existing LTI arrangements, Exective KMP participatns would have been offered shared of a value equal to 15 per cent of their fixed annual renumeration (FAR).”

It continued:

“Under the new plan, in FY18, each member of the Executive KMP team will be offered a number of performance rights (calculated on a fxied price basis) of a value equal to 55 per cent of their FAR.”

That announcement came just a few months after Webjet’s Chairman Roger Sharp issued his annual report letter in September, which showed quite a good year for the OTA.

The company posted a earnings before interest and tax of 51 million, up more than 40 per cent on 2016 results.

“FY 2017 was a milestone year for Webjet Limited, with strong organics growth in bookings, revenues and profit,” Sharp said.

“Our customers’ activity tells the story succinctly: three-year CAGR in organic travel bookings is 26 per cent across the business and 36 per cent after acquisitions.

And of course, all this news follows Guscic labelling agents as “limited” in April.

“Currently, the perfect leisure travel experience does not exist, online or offline,” Guscic said.

“Offline travel agents are limited by whatever tools, processes, and content are made available to them – as well as their own experiences, knowledge and commercial drivers. This information, content and tools vary greatly by agent.”

“Online travel sites today focus mainly on the mechanics of travel and less about the overall experience.

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