It should come as no real surprise that Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, gets his vacation deals via the Internet too. According to the news from Travelmatch and the Daily Mail, Cameron’s booked a luxurious villa in Italy via the online travel portal. He and his family will be headed out on vacation via budget airline, the whole shebang, just like you or I. Well, almost – read on.
Two weeks at an all inclusive 18th Century villa in Chianti, “just like Prime Minister Cameron’s vacation” – what kind of PR and Marketing bonus will this headline be for Travelmatch? The story suggests Cameron and his family will probably have a budget just slightly higher than the average family’s getaway though, upwards of €9,000 euro is not exactly chicken feed for a week’s stay. Alex Francis of travelmatch.co.uk, had this to add via the company’s press release:
“The prime minister is taking off on a fabulous trip to Italy that is sure to help him recover from the stress of his job. Most Brits will surely sympathize as our customers are always keen to book holidays to Bulgaria, Crete, the Canary Islands, and other Mediterranean destinations to escape from the daily grind.”
Francis went on to hype the announcement more by adding (kiss kiss) how Cameron and his family are “up to date” in using online travel to book their holidays. But, what about Prime Ministers hanging out at online travel sites? Do such high profile characters do their own vacation bidding really? It is feasible I suppose.
Travelmatch was founded on the principle that users can find great places by looking for features rather than just “places” – a novel idea which I agree with as an option. But, looking at their interfact, and the inventory they have, I find it a bit hard to believe Cameron booked Chianti here. It seems more likely his fellow Eton College prep-school alumnist (classmate) LastMinute founder and Travelmatch backer, Brent Hoberman may have turned the PM on to the vacation deal? Maybe, who knows, any number of very high profile Travelmatch supporters could have emailed the PM?
Hoberman is a member of the so called “New Enterprise Council” – maybe the whole Conservative Party (UK) books via Travelmatch? Heck, they probably use LastFM, Arora Hotels, and Babylicious, and their wives wear Jimmy Choo too. So much for tracking down deals, we all know some people have built in bargain basement commodities, now don’t we? Soon we will need YouTube video to show how people “actually” review TripAdvisor venues, and especially high profile dignitaries mumbling over websites for a bargain! It’s like we all need an Internet detective to find credibility these days.
In point of fact, despite ham handed PR & Marketing on the part of Travelmatch dot uk, the service is top notch. Design, simplicity, and best of all, the deals on the site hold up under scrutiny. On the negative side though, I cannot imagine the Prime Minister of England searching like I did for just such a vacation as suggested, especially not on a site which clearly does not have “perfect” navigation where Italy excursions are concerned.
The UI or inventory one were at fault when I tried to find a luxury family destination in Italy period! The image below is one “negative” result I found, and I can guarantee this, David Cameron does not have 1/100th the experience I do on the web. Another question is; “Would a press secretary every reccommend a world leader take his Tweets, or bookings into his or her own hands?”
For more info on this news, Travelmatch UK, and budget travel, please follow the above links or connect via Facebook here. For info about traveling to Chianti in Tuscany, visit their official site here. As for looking for deals online, booking via Travelmatch dot uk is but one option. If you wanted to go to Tuscany, the Chianti region evern, booking via other online portals is not so hard or inefficient either. The villa below, for instance, is listed via a very nice web portal, one it took me all of 30 seconds to find via Google. And Google has a good UI too. Phil out for now.