United News folds uTravel Web venture

Holiday web-site uTravel.co.uk has become the latest Internet turkey, with owner United News & Media deciding to shut the site because of cut-throat competition in the online travel market.

Xilerate, United News & Media’s new media division, says that further investment in the business could not be expected to achieve the required return in the future.

The site, which was launched in August 1999, was intended to provide leisure travellers with comprehensive information on holidays and destinations, directing them to their travel agent to make bookings.

The Xilerate site was hit by competition from other Internet sites such as Lastminute, and Travelocity.

A spokesman says the company is hoping to find alternative jobs for for uTravel’s 18 staff members.

Xilerate runs 50 different websites, including Megastar, a lad site linked to the Daily Star, Dotmusic and B2B sites such as Farmgate.

The announcement of the demise of uTravel made little impact on the share price of United News & Media, which stood 2p down at 813p at the time of going to press.

United News & Media is seeking to change its name to United Business Media to reflect its new focus on business publishing and exhibitions, after it sold the bulk of its TV assets to Granada Media.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here