John Donnelly inks EZE Group deal, promotes non-travel routes to market

by Lee Hayhurst
by Lee Hayhurst
March 23, 2012 02:11 PM GMT

A third party travel distribution specialist targeting non-travel websites has forged a partnership with EZE Group to provide travel ancillaries including foreign exchange, travel insurance and car hire.

John Donnelly Associates was set up by John Donnelly, who is well known in the UK travel business having previously worked for First Choice and Harvey World Travel and introduced the Holiday Hypermarket concept.

His new venture is facilitating suppliers who want to open up new distribution channels direct to market through non-traditional, non-travel routes.

In November JDA forged an alliance with finance firm UGroup, of which Donnelly is a non-executive director, to launch a travel offering to its customers.

The latest deal with EZE Group will see a new division created called EZE Bitz that will provide its users with travel ancillaries.

EZE Group enables members to buy credits, which can be used on a wide range of leisure activities including holidays and short breaks.

The JDA deal will enable its customers to buy every part of their trip through EZE Group credits.

Donnelly said: “The way people purchase holidays is changing rapidly and more are looking to buy using points or credits systems.

“EZE Group is at the forefront of the changes and our partnership will allow us to take advantage of this huge growth area.”

EZE Group’s European chief executive Dominic O’Reilly added: “John’s knowledge, expertise and contacts will enable us to expand our service portfolio and provide a range of benefits for our members.”

After agreeing the deal with UGroup Donnelly said: “There are some great products in the travel industry, but generally it is not as advanced as the finance world when it comes to managing and merging data, utilising the technology or training staff in how to build and close sales.

“Through the UGroup contact centre we have access to an ‘opted in’ database of 15 million potential customers who can be targeted with a range of products from tour operators, airlines and other travel specialists.

“With the emergence of online travel companies and the diversification of the traditional retail model, we have seen how distribution routes are changing, but I believe there are some great opportunities to develop this further by partnering with non-travel organisations who have an on-going dialogue with an active customer base.”

As well as JDA, Donnelly has launched knowingyour.com offering the “most aggressive rates on those travel products you tend to leave until later”.

He plans to add a concierge service to this site that will offer assistance to customers of other dynamic packaging holiday retailers who have encountered difficulties.

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