Orbitz considers advertising model for international sites

Orbitz Worldwide has hinted that monetising traffic from visitors is part of its plan to grow its non-US businesses.

Chief financial officer Marsha Williams told a conference in the US this week: “We think are significant opportunities for  some of our international web sites, where we are somewhat behind where we are in the US in terms of embedding advertising into our web sites.”

In a busy week for Orbitz, it also announced that the migration of its thirteen ebookers businesses onto its global platform has been completed, and that this would be benefit the bottom line.

“We hope to keep flat or even reduce a number of operating expenses, while growing the revenue line,” she told the audience. The revenue hikes would come from  increased hotel inventory the new platform triples the number of hotels available – and better dynamic packaging capability, two high-margin areas of the business.”

In her presentation Williams also talked up Orbitz Price Assurance as one of its most effective initiatives in the US.

If another customer subsequently books the same airline ticket for less on Orbitz.com, the original customer will automatically be refunded the difference, between $5 and $250.

“We are sending out thousands of checks a month,” she said, admitting that the tool was tested extensively to make sure it didn’t end up paying out unexpected refunds.

“We see it a very critical part of our marketing campaign,” she said. “We believe the Price Assurance message has resonated, with people not only coming back to buy with Orbitz, but also spreading the word.”

Orbitz’ other news this week was the appointment of Barney Harford as its president and CE0.

Williams talked up her new boss’ seven years’ experience within Expedia where he was close to high margin products and international growth markets.

She added that Harford also served as an adviser “for some internet start-ups, one of which focuses on SEO and SEM, so we’re very pleased to have that level of expertise in our CEO”.

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