As a true digital heritage brand , we’ve been inspiring travellers to surf the internet for 25 years.
Technology is in our DNA. As pioneers and early adopters of the World Wide Web, our digital “shop front” opened a window to the world of travel where customers could browse and buy everything from holidays to concert tickets. We put huge efforts into creating technology which showcased inspirational content that would help turn the dream of their next trip into a reality.
When lastminute.com was founded in 1998, people didn’t think “buying things off the internet” would ever take off.
Fortunately, we’ve always thought differently.
We brought booking a holiday into the home , and often the office, as at the time only 9% of the UK had internet access in their living rooms. But with Google also helpfully launching at the same time, soon the need to trek to the High Street travel agent and pick up a brochure became a choice, not a necessity.
So when the Italian entrepreneurs behind the launch of online flights start-up Volagratis and Bravofly were looking for an iconic British brand to buy, they jumped at the opportunity to buy lastminute.com in 2015. This acquisition created a new technology powerhouse in Europe.
Crucially the internet opened the door to dynamic pricing , giving us the ability to customise prices to the individuals’ needs or fluctuating demand in the travel market. Being digitally focused and tech-savvy from the dawn of the Online Travel Agent (OTA) we’ve always been uniquely set up. Our latest role in the online travel industry is not only as an OTA but also as a Tour Operator offering guaranteed, premium products.
Whilst our website might look a little different now, visitors from 1998 will still find the same attractive mix of great deals to top destinations around the world.
Having started out in 1998 in the UK, France and Germany soon followed – in no small part thanks to the introduction of the Euro – in 1999.
The lastminute.com group you see today is a truly pan-European online travel player, having expanded its coverage of markets in and outside of Europe via a strategic M & A journey.
Unlike the traditional high street travel agent model, we’ve always provided customers with online tools and technologies to give them the autonomy to easily search for, compare and book a variety of travel products and services at a time convenient to them.
Our desktop and mobile web platforms provide users with well-designed, user-friendly interfaces that integrate a large number of products and services with multiple filtering, sorting and comparison tools. We like to think anyone arriving at our websites and apps can book a holiday or experience, even if they’re new to online shopping.
So from a revolutionary start-up idea to being a trusted member of the travel industry establishment – it’s been a rollercoaster of a ride.
Like all businesses, you can’t have success without brilliant employees and our Pink People have consistently found ways to keep the company ahead of the curve.
You could also attribute our longevity to being early internet and digital-first adopters, always agile and asset-light, proven brand recognition, diverse products, competitive prices and a customer-centric culture.
These are all reasons we’re proud that lastminute.com has managed where many of its contemporaries failed and is still going strong.
So while it’s useful to acknowledge the past, we’ve always been future-focused – so we hope you join us for the next 25 years of travel experiences.
To celebrate this big milestone, we’ve launched a competition open to anyone who’d love to see themselves featured in London’s most iconic asset – the lastminute.com London Eye.
Learn more here