Online discount accommodation booker Hotels.com has appointed Matthew Walls, formerly of low-cost airline Buzz, as head of marketing, to oversee its &£7m British launch.
Hotels.com has earmarked &£7m for its launch campaign, which is being handled by Ogilvy Primary Contact. The company will be entering a fiercely competitive market, dominated by companies such as Lastminute.com and Travelocity.
The company says that the growing tendency of consumers to make their own travel arrangements through the internet means there is plenty of business opportunity.
Hotels.com has just started its awareness campaign with London Underground and press advertising.
Walls was European head of sales and marketing at KLM-owned airline Buzz. He was axed, together with the rest of the marketing and commercial team, when the operation was bought by Ryanair in March (MW March 20).
Prior to joining Buzz in July 2000 (MW July 27, 2000), Walls was head of marketing at British Airways franchise carrier GB Airways.
Hotels.com was founded ten years ago by company president Bob Diener and chief executive officer David Litman. It is now owned by InterActiveCorp (IAC), a US company headed by media mogul Barry Diller.
IAC also owns Expedia.co.uk, Ticketmaster and Match.com and has an aggressive expansion plan to acquire businesses in Europe.