21 October 2008: Lastminute.com is revolutionising the online travel industry with its unique sentence search tool Pronto.
Pronto is a one box search function that allows the construction of a sentence to search for travel and leisure options, for example ‘Paris on Friday’, ‘I would like a 5 star hotel on 10 November in Gran Canaria for 3 nights’, ‘table for two in Covent Garden this evening’.
Pronto is the customer-friendly alternative to the traditional drop down box search system used by all online travel providers including lastminute.com.
The lastminute.com homepage has a total of 78 search boxes across its ten travel and leisure product tabs including hotels, flights and theatre. Including the ‘advance search facility’ there are a total of 162 search boxes.
Pronto, which is launching this week to co-inside with lastminute.com’s tenth birthday, allows customers to search for their leisure requirements across all categories using just the one box. The system launches covering hotels, flights and restaurants.
Pronto was developed following intensive research that uncovered people newer to online travel sites do not have the patience to fill in all the different boxes.
These people find traditional online travel sites cluttered and the standard search process hard work.
Following these findings seven alternative search prototypes were developed and tested with customers.
Pronto received the most positive feedback as participants found it a friendly and inspiring way to search for travel and leisure experiences by typing in what they wanted rather than filling in big forms.
Lastminute.com head of innovation Marko Balabanovic said: “The search engines have made the one box search system the standard way to search for information online, so it makes sense that travel and leisure products should be searched for in the same way.
“Innovation has been at the heart of lastminute.com since its launch in 1998. pronto makes its even easy for the consumer to make the most of their leisure time, which is exactly what lastminute.com has stood for over the past 10 years.”
Pronto has a patent pending on its search functionality.