Travelot.com has tapped Fitzgerald & Co. to handle its August launch campaign.
The Atlanta agency, which landed the $10 million account without a review, will handle creative, strategic marketing, media buys and public relations duties.
The challenge is to break another online travel company out of the Internet's competitive clutter. "All the other players are promising deals . . . deals . . . deals," said Lisa Galanti, agency executive vice president and managing director. "Travelot.com gives travelers personalized access to experts in hundreds of destinations."
Atlanta-based Travelot.com uses the Internet to connect travelers directly to agents in destination cities around the world. The agents, Travelot.com franchisees, provide custom-tailored tourism and activities planning.
"By flipping the paradigm, we can deliver a whole new customer base," said client president Scot Rittenbaum. "Our agents can use the world as their market; where they live becomes their product."
The concept, said Rittenbaum, was sparked by real estate developer Bob Isaacson's experience in Jamaica. "[Travelot founder and chairman] Isaacson met a local agent who could deliver a villa, a nanny, you name it. He realized the Internet could enable the kind of inside information you'd never get from a local travel agent," Rittenbaum said.
Travelot is free to consumers who choose from a variety of services available from providers such as CI Travel, Norfolk, Va. Participating agents pay a percentage of their revenues to Travelot as part of the franchise agreement.
Reservations will be handled through Worldspan, the clearinghouse owned by Delta, Northwest and TWA airlines. The consortium provides discounted "last seat, last hotel room" accommodations to Web sites like Priceline.com.