Iconic online travel pioneer Lastminute.com has marked 15 years since going live to consumers this week and claims its core offering is more relevant than ever.
The firm says the move by customers towards smartphone technology means that late bookings by people looking for good value but high quality are on the increase.
Although Lastminute has not gone down the route of creating a mobile app specifically focused on last-minute bookings like new entrants including Hotel Tonight and Blink Booking, it has optimised its website for mobile.
It said: “Lastminute.com is celebrating a 15-year-old past but is meeting the demands of a very modern customer - booking hotel rooms on their smartphones one day ahead of check-in in the UK.
“Lastminute.com customers book a hotel twelve days ahead on average - through their mobile phones this falls to one day before check in.”
Lastminute estimates in the 15 years it has been selling travel it has saved its customer millions of pounds. It claims its Top Secret Hotels offering has saved customers in Europe £40 million alone.
Matthew Crummack, chief executive of Lastminute.com said: “Since 1998 we have helped our customers and suppliers squeeze the last-minute world for all it’s got and are incredibly proud to have served up millions of experiences that inspire a more spontaneous way to enjoy travel and leisure.
“A single-minded focus to deliver quality and good value for our customers through a last-minute booking window is our heritage but is also firmly in our future.
“The habits of our customers reveal an ever-increasing appetite to make travel decisions instantaneously.
“We are seeing diminishing booking windows, as palm-of-the-hand technology empowers a new sort of last-minute behaviour.
“In 1998 our customers asked themselves whether to book a trip away next Bank Holiday; in 2013, 84% of mobile customers booked a hotel on Bank Holiday Sunday for check-in that night."
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