Catch taps Jennifer Hawkins to launch luxury travel site
Catch Group is expanding into the luxury travel market with the launch of a new e-commerce platform called Bon Voyage today.
The website offers curated holiday packages to exotic destinations at discounted prices.
Destinations currently featured on the site include hotels and resorts in Bali, Fiji, Bangkok, Dubai and Australia, as well as cruises from Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.
The aim is to make luxury travel accessible to everyday Australians, according to Bon Voyage general manager Jon Beros.
“All experiences have been handpicked by our team, bringing travellers five-star experiences from the world’s best destinations,” Beros said.
Australian model, television presenter and global traveller, Jennifer Hawkins, partnered with Catch Group on the website launch.
Luxury travel is not entirely new territory for Catch Group, which previously offered travel discounts through its deal site Scoopon. (Catch Group also operates Catch.com.au, Grocery Run and Mumgo.)
But while Scoopon targets a range of categories, from travel to dining to recreation, and price points, from entry level to high end, Bon Voyage specifically targets the luxury travel market.
“The idea is to attract a new type of customer, someone who is looking for a luxury experience. [Bon Voyage] is a new product for new customers, but we also want existing customers to buy experiences on Bon Voyage,” Catch Group CEO Nati Harpaz told Internet Retailing.
Harpaz acknowledged the difficulty of positioning a brand as both ‘luxury’ and ‘affordable’, but said Catch Group’s other platforms are not necessarily far removed from the luxury space.
“We sell brands and expensive brands [on Catch.com.au], just for better value,” he said.
“At the end of the day, everyone would love to have a great five-star experience if they can afford it. What we’re trying to do is make things more affordable.”
According to Harpaz, Bon Voyage has the potential to become a $300 million business, citing the fact that Scoopon already does more than $50 million a year in travel.
“We intend to move most of our luxury travel from Scoopon into Bon Voyage, and so we are already starting with an existing business,” he said.
“To get [to $300 million], we will have to invest in getting great deals and acquiring the customers who will buy the deals.”
Harpaz outlined two main ways Catch Group will acquire customers going forward. The first is through more robust marketing efforts, which he said will begin this weekend and ramp up through July.
The second is through closer integration of the company’s various e-commerce platforms.
“The ultimate goal is to create an ecosystem where customers can log in [to any Catch Group platform] with same username and check out without having to resubmit details because we already have their credit card and shipping information saved,” he said.
“We want it to be a really a flawless and easy transaction to go from Catch.com.au to Bon Voyage.”
The launch of Bon Voyage is the second major move from Catch Group this month.
The company recently rebranded its biggest platform from Catch of the Day to Catch.com.au and launched a marketplace, in an effort to become more of a one-stop shop for Australians ahead of Amazon’s arrival.
Nati Harpaz is chairman of Octomedia, the parent company of Internet Retailing.