Expedia announces partnership expansion in EMEA

Expedia has announced multiple new distribution and marketing agreements with hotels and tour operators throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The new partnerships signify continued momentum in Expedia’s efforts to help hoteliers reach more than 60 million consumers each month who shop for travel on over 60 Expedia® and hotels.com® sites worldwide.

Expedia has grown the local presence of its supply team in EMEA to include nearly 300 Expedia® Partner Services Group employees in 14 offices throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

As a result, Expedia has achieved significant growth in its EMEA supply portfolio to date, for instance growing its base of hotels in Eastern Europe by 44 percent, in Italy by 40 percent since the beginning of 2008, and in Spain and Portugal together by 36 percent.

“While Expedia is a global company, we take a local approach to working with our partners, and we are personally invested in their businesses,” said Matthew Crummack, senior vice president of Global Lodging, Expedia Partner Services Group.

“We have teams of people who understand the local dynamics of the cities they live and work in, which makes Expedia a terrific resource to hoteliers, especially in light of the economic challenges the travel industry is seeing.”

Expedia also recently launched JoinExpedia (http://www.joinexpedia.com/), now available in 39 languages, where hoteliers can quickly and easily apply to sell their product on Expedia and reach the more than 60 million consumers worldwide who visit Expedia’s websites each month. Hundreds of hotels that have joined the Expedia marketplace in recent months are selling rooms online for the first time ever.

Expanding Global Lodging Agreements

In addition to partnering with individual properties, Expedia has recently signed a number of new and renewed agreements impacting its EMEA supply footprint, including:

* Carlson Hotels Worldwide, owner of Belgium-based Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the world;

* Luxury brands Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, and Manor House Hotels Ireland; and

* Chains with concentration in specific countries and regions, including several in Spain and Portugal, such as Ayre, Egido Hoteles, Garden, GSM Hoteles, Medplaya, Kris, Ronda Rural and Sercotel.

In related news, following its historic agreement signed late last year with UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Expedia also announced today that it has completed the roll out of nearly 4000 IHG properties to Expedia- and hotels.com-branded sites worldwide.

“Expedia not only gives travel suppliers the ability to offer their products to consumers all over the world, but also provides targeted marketing opportunities that no other online travel company can offer,” said Paul Brown, president of Expedia Partner Services Group. “Our global reach is part of what makes Expedia a valuable distribution channel, but the local knowledge and revenue management expertise of our employees are what enable even small hotel properties to benefit from targeted marketing efforts.”

Expedia hotel partners have recently achieved promising results by participating in sales and marketing programs to maintain demand even in the face of the global economic downturn.

For example, European hotels that participated in a recent promotion on Expedia.co.uk achieved 33 percent growth in room nights over the same period in 2007. Promotional and merchandising tools such as dynamic rate rules (DRR) and dynamic packaging capabilities are opportunities drive demand to Expedia hotel partners especially in times of need.

New Online Marketing Campaigns

Further reinforcing the value Expedia delivers as a marketing partner, Expedia Media Solutions Group continues to partner with hotels and airlines to launch online marketing campaigns on Expedia sites, most recently with Starwood Italy, Sol Melia, Hyatt London and Protea Hotels South Africa.

Expedia is also working with several tourism boards to promote destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Corsica, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Glasgow, Greece, Grenada, Ireland, Malta, Mauritius, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Tenerife and Turkey. In addition, Expedia is promoting travel to a number of African countries, such as Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania, in response to growing demand for African destinations among European travellers.

More information:

* Expedia Partners Services Group

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