As Teletext and its famous holiday brand, Teletext Holidays, enters a new era. I take look back over the years since the advertising platform began and the impact the company had on the holiday industry today.
Born in 1974, the ITV text service began totally as a news information service and operated under the name of ‘Oracle’. However, it was not until the late eighties/early nineties, that the service began advertising holidays and flights over its airwaves. The holiday section began as one page entitled ‘Holidays’, as oracle began their search for holiday firms to advertise on its service. The majority of the early advertisers originated from the North East of England, which included travel agents Team Travel (Teletext trading name Last Stop Holiday Shop), Tradewinds (Teletext trading name ‘Late Escapes’) and Lincoln Travel plus Apollo Travel from Yorkshire. All of these companies were later bought by larger travel companies (Thomson purchased Team Travel & Lincoln Travel, Airtours purchased Tradewinds and Apollo Travel became part of the Co-Op Travel Group).
As the holiday section grew in popularity, in 1992 Teletext Limited outbid Oracle in the tender for the service and on 31st December 1992 saw Oracle end but, of course, just a few minutes after midnight on 1st January 1993 Teletext Limited was born.
During their heyday in the early to mid nineties, the holiday area on Teletext grew at an extraordinary rate with the section being split into numerous pages to accommodate the demand. Even comedians such as Peter Kay famously mentioned booking holidays through Teletext, its popularity was so high.
By the end of the decade, Teletext Holidays was created along with their website www.teletextholidays.co.uk and by the start of the new millennium, Teletext had already introduced their service on Sky and Freeview platforms. At one point, in the mid 2000’s they even tried a ‘Teletext Holidays TV Channel’, similar to TV Travel Shop, but this ended after only a year in operation.
By the end of 2010, with the new digital TV era coming into force, Teletext withdrew its analogue TV service from air. Now Teletext Holidays has a wider audience on the internet through their website, with reports of twice as many customers calling advertisers from its website than through the Digital TV service.
Over the years, UlookUbook has been an advertiser on Teletext and still occasionally advertises on the service.