Travelzoo announced that it will be launching its own metaverse soon. Details, though, are closely guarded presently.
Arveena Ahluwalia, general manager, Travelzoo META, alluding to the covertness, says, “Given our attempt to be the first mover in providing travel experiences in the Metaverse, please understand at this time, we can only provide limited information.” However, she reveals that the Travelzoo META would be a subscription product.
From the very brief updates about the metaverse it is understood that it will be a digital travel experiences platform, and that it is going to be launched “in the coming weeks.”
Ahluwalia, during her brief Q4 earnings call Wednesday, made it clear that she would only provide a “super quick” update “since the team is pretty busy with the launch of Phase 1 of Travelzoo META in the coming weeks.”
There was, however, a marketing tease in the investor presentation in the form of 10 images of the first look at Travelzoo META.
In an investor presentation for the fourth quarter and full-year 2022, Travelzoo management outlined their key priorities, which include the launch of Travelzoo META, increasing membership (which remained stagnant in 2022), boosting revenue growth, improving operating margins to substantially increase earnings per share, and expanding subscription revenue from their Jack’s Flight Club airline deals newsletter.
Initially, Travelzoo had set a target launch date of September 2022 for its metaverse. The company had begun testing it in May 2022, and described it as a browser-based platform offering engaging travel experiences that enable members to interact within the metaverse. Travelzoo had promoted the metaverse as a means of drawing in new subscribers to its deals publications and attracting a younger customer base.
Travelzoo secures deals with airlines, hotels, and tour operators during periods of low reservations, and then sells them to consumers at a profit.
Additionally, Travelzoo noted that in the fourth quarter, it experienced solid performance in the United States, where its operating margin reached 29 percent. Revenue in North America rose by 53 percent to $13.1 million, while revenue in Europe grew by 9 percent to $4.7 million. Travelzoo had discontinued its operations in the Asia Pacific region in March 2020 and now operates through a licensing agreement there.
Travelzoo reported a net income of $2.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, which stands in contrast to the loss of $3.2 million it incurred in the same period the previous year. Revenue also increased by 36 percent to $18.6 million. The company attributed its positive financial performance to a sustained reduction in overhead expenses that was implemented during the pandemic.
CEO Holger Bartel expressed confidence about Travelzoo’s prospects for 2023, noting that challenging economic conditions could provide the company with an opportunity to secure even greater discounts from its suppliers.
“So, in general, as you see in Q4 and now again in Q1, it’s become easier for us to negotiate offers for our members that of course, resulting in more activity by our members and also advertisers are back much stronger than last year because there’s more confidence in travel,” Bartel said. “And while we have high inflation everywhere and possibly recessions coming, travel is one of the areas where consumers don’t want to give up on it. They just want to do more for less, and they are looking for better deals.”
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