Hotel Online Special Report

Leisureplanet CEO Outlines Changes in 
Travel Industry with Advent of Internet 
LONDON-- April 21, 1999 -- Pierre Kleinhans, CEO of Leisureplanet, was one of the featured speakers at the Goldman Sachs "E-commerce Comes to Europe" conference in London, Friday 16th April.

Mr. Kleinhans addressed the topic of the impact of e-commerce on the travel industry, identifying the $150 billion leisure travel industry as the area to be most significantly impacted by e-commerce. Introducing his company, Mr. Kleinhans stated that Leisureplanet was
the first travel e-commerce company to sign multinational contracts with major Internet portal companies in Europe. In his opinion the only proven model to secure dominant Internet distribution was through a combination of portal deals and building a strong affiliate network.

He stated that Leisureplanet would continue to aggressively pursue this strategy.

According to Mr. Kleinhans, other key areas that will determine industry leaders are:

  • On-line brand development, which is enhanced by the portal e-commerce partnerships, and the large-scale advertising buy this provides on the web;
  • Superior customer service, which in a demanding 24-hour shopping environment such as the Internet plays a crucial role in brand development. Leisureplanet is working to enhance this process through a number of proprietary personalization techniques;
  • A focus on ease of use and product range to ensure optimal functionality while meeting a wide range of user needs. Leisureplanet will continue to exploit its competence in content to build customer confidence and brand loyalty by addressing these issues on a continual basis.
In summary, Mr. Kleinhans stated that the Internet has created an environment where traditional travel agency companies have lost the first mover advantage. Consumers are attracted to the new medium as they identify Internet players like Leisureplanet as a source of empowerment. Leisureplanet's understanding of the new medium will enable it to retain and develop consumer loyalty through one-to-one relationships with the aim of continuing to create a rapidly growing pool of registered users.

Founded in 1995, Leisureplanet is an Internet-based international travel services company with the world's largest image-rich hotel database; flight, car and hotel reservation facilities; and comprehensive proprietary travel guides for more than 180 travel destinations. Leisureplanet is committed to achieving leadership in global travel e-commerce through offering tailored services in European and other international markets. Operations include multi-lingual call center and customer support facilities, two electronic publishing units, an information system and web site development unit, a hotel recruitment center in addition to a local travel agency partner network.

Leisureplanet offers choice, competitive price and customer service. The company is in the process of deploying localized web sites supported by local customer service agents in European and other international markets. Each local web site will provide a
comprehensive selection of competitively priced travel products for local consumers, presented in the local language.

Leisureplanet is 81%-owned by First South Africa Corp., Ltd. (Nasdaq:FSACF), a publicly traded investment company whose holdings also include businesses in various industries, including value-added convenience foods and leisure products. First South Africa plans to
seek shareholder approval to change its name to Leisureplanet Holdings Ltd. at its next Annual Meeting of Shareholders on April 29.

The statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to risks associated with the uncertainty of future financial results, additional financing requirements, development of new products, regulatory approval processes, the impact of competitive products or pricing, technological changes, the effect of economic conditions and other uncertainties detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Dagny Mjos
Also See: First South Africa Corp. Acquires 80% Stake in Internet Based Travel Agency - / March 1999 

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