New Booking Window No Breath of Fresh Air at Wotif.com

Goldman Sachs believes the extension by online retailer Wotif.com of its booking window from three months to six months will have no significant impact on earnings. Analyst Mike Younger notes in an investor briefing  that the “vast majority” of Wotif.com’s bookings are domestic with an average lead time of 12 days, reflecting the site’s last-minute bias. Younger also believes it’s likely that “consensus estimates” of a strong  pickup in Net Profits After Tax to a record $29m for the six months to June 30 will be downgraded. Factors include the trend to overseas travel and Wotif.com spending more on marketing.

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  1. Over the last few years, Wotif seems to have developed more into a facility for finding vacancies in a particular city and then making instant on-line bookings rather than offering unique unbeatable rates. Many accommodation properties with their own on-line booking system on their website (like TheBookingButton, NetRoomz, WebReservations and their own custom-developed applications) are showing the exact same rates as what they supply to Wotif. Those without an on-line booking system on their website are often using Wotif as a defacto on-line booking system. So these days, people are increasingly looking to Wotif as a one-stop shop for finding vacancies in a particular city and making the booking on-line, as demonstrated by Wotif’s extension of its booking window to 6 months. They are now getting to the stage where they offer a direct challenge to Roamfree who advertise themselves as having “great deals all year round” for accommodation.

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