With the European online travel agency sector more crowded than ever, Lastminute.com plans to push its wider lifestyle offering to set it apart from its steamrollering rivals.
The London-based, Travelocity-owned OTA will launch what it says will be its first pan-European marketing campaign this week, combining TV in the UK with a wider press, online, billboard and social media spread of activity across the rest of Europe.
The idea behind the campaign's strapline ("Stories start here") is to highlight products away alongside its core offering of flights, hotels, packages and car hire, such as tours and activities.
UK and Ireland managing director Mark Maddock says the company gets around 30% of its overall revenue from non-travel - or "lifestyle" - products, a steady increase since he joined the business eight years ago, especially in areas such as spa breaks and theatre tickets (one in nine theatre tickets in London are now sold vbia Lastminute.com, he says).
Coinciding with the new campaign will be a redesigned site coming this week - although Maddock says there are no major additions, just look and feel.
Perhaps most interestingly are comments from Maddock around the wider OTA sector in Europe.
Maddock, who started the job in the summer of 2010 after working his way up initially through the hotel wing of the business, believes the current list of leading pan-European OTAs will remain (Expedia, Booking.com et al) but era when a major player could make a serious dent on the landscape has now passed.
He does, however, say Thomas Cook's widely talked about move to shift to an agency model online "makes sense" for the tour operating giant.
Here is the new TV ad: