By JAMES WILKINSON
The Qantas Group has launched Hooroo, an new, stand-alone online booking engine for accommodation properties across Australia.
Targeting hotels spanning the brand spectrum from budget to luxury, Hooroo has been designed with social media in mind and features tips from prominent Australians – including members of sporting teams sponsored by Qantas – as well as bloggers.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce says Hooroo – which has been the booking engine powering the Group’s accommodation channel on jetstar.com since late 2011 and Qantas.com since June this year – will “capitalise on the domestic accommodation sector in Australia”.
“Hooroo will open up new opportunities for our customers when booking their travel online and will offer accommodation across the full spectrum of the market, from budget to premium and from boutique to the big hotels,” he says.
While Hooroo would remain a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas, Joyce has confirmed it will operate as a stand-alone business.
Hooroo’s Head of Commercial, Bruce Fair, says the launch of the website “is great news” for the Australian domestic tourism industry.
“There is currently a huge amount of investment from tourism bodies to encourage Australian travel,” he says.
“We welcome that investment and remain highly passionate about supporting the Australian travel industry.”
The head of Australia’s peak tourism body has welcomed the bold move from the nation’s largest airline.
“We undoubtedly live in a digital age now, with the internet and social media platforms playing a major role in the way we plan and book our travel,” says Tourism Australia CEO Andrew McEvoy.
“It’s good to see the industry responding so positively to this changing landscape by integrating digital, social media and advocacy into their core marketing and commercial activities.”
The Qantas Group will officially launch Hooroo at an exclusive event in Sydney tonight (Jul 18).