Expedia, an Internet-based travel website company with its head office in Bellevue, Washington USA, and operating nearly 30 localised sites in other countries including the UK, is preparing to sell package holidays.
While speaking at the recent World Tourism Forum in Lucerne, Switzerland, the company’s senior vice president for global market management, Cyril Ranque, said, ‘There is a huge opportunity in offering packages to customers. We do dynamic packages, selling the old way: select a flight, select a hotel, select transfers, activities and you’re set. But there is much more potential in filtering the needs of the consumer – by price, length of stay, destination, theme, size of group. There is a lot of opportunity to present the right product.
‘Packages are the next big area. We are going to invest a lot of money. To optimise all revenue margins we need to be in all ‘buckets’. But being strong in the main bucket – the mass market – is what is most important.’
Expedia operates its travel sites in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, UK, and the USA. Through the sites visitors can book airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rental and cruises. Expedia’s coverage means that it is possibly the world’s largest on-line travel agency, with a turnover of £4 billion last year.
Ranque insisted that any changes that Expedia makes to its operation and offerings would be carried out gradually in order to avoid disruption to the company’s existing services and to maintain customer goodwill.