Expedia’s European investment could have been predicted as soon as Priceline scooped up Kayak, and the travel company will now continue to cluster more brands under its umbrella as it builds out its inventory and global reach.
Expedia has grown its business by building up a portfolio of travel brands from around the world that cater to budget, luxury, and business travelers. Expedia offers more than 160,000 hotels in more than 200 countries, and more than 300 airlines, rental car companies, cruiselines and destination services and activities on its websites.
Expedia Inc. reported year-end revenue of $3.4 billion for 2011, a 14 percent increase from 2010. The company beat expectations in both revenue and profits this fall, and expects the purchase to continue its upward earnings trend, especially in Europe.
Today’s announcement brings the family to a total of 12 companies.
Expedia’s burgeoning brand portfolio
Expedia.com: The largest and one of the most widely recognized of the Expedia portfolio. The branded website is localized in 30 countries where travelers can book airline tickets, lodging, car rentals, vacation packages, and other travel services.
Hotels.com: The other highly recognized Expedia brand officially became an operating company of travel giant in 2005. It focuses entirely on marketing and distributing hotel rooms and offered more than 145,000 properties last year. The website is localized in more than 75 locations around the world.
Hotwire.com: The business model behind Hotwire was a pioneer in that it offers opaque bookings where travelers can view prices up-front, but not the companies behind travel offers. It offers price-sensitive travelers the ability to book unsold rooms, flights, or rentals cars from leading travel brands for deep discounts. Specific details like the time of departure or hotel location are unknown until after the transaction is completed to protect the brand identity of the companies. The services are available in nine countries in North America and Europe.
Egencia: The product began as Expedia’s first corporate travel unit in 2002. The company has acquired eight global travel companies over the past 10 years building up its portfolio and corporate reach. It’s products and services are now used by more than 10,000 companies in 55 countries worldwide.
eLong: Expedia owns a majority share in the online hotel and air travel booking website located in Beijing, China. The website is most focused on hotel bookings and offers rooms in 160,000 hotels around the world. Nearly 75 percent of its revenue comes from hotel reservations, about 20 percent from air ticketing, and nine percent from advertising and travel insurance. The company reported total revenues of US$ 34.02 million for the third quarter of 2012, a 21 percent increase year-over-year.
Venere: The Italian hotel booking website was acquired by Expedia in 2008. It offers more than 100,000 properties, which include hotels, vacation rentals, and resorts in ten languages. The company successfully expanded from Europe to North Americancompany for 13 years before the acquisition.
Classic Vacations: The on and off-line service offers individually tailored vacations primarily through a national network of third-party retail travel agents. Travelers can book vacation or customize their itinerary in specific locations.
CruiseShipCenters: Expedia owns a majority share of the 25-year old company, which has over 150 retail locations and a searchable online database of more than 10,000 cruise vacations. Trained Cruise Consultants are an integral part of the company’s services.
Expedia Local Expert: Expedia’s in-market concierge services are available in more than 100 hotels in 18 global locations where travelers can find assistance for booking events and activities. The service is also available online at localexpert.com.
Expedia Affiliate Network: The network makes Expedia’s products and services available to third-party company-branded websites. Companies that engage in Expedia’s co-branded and private-label programs are compensated on a revenue-share basis.
Expedia Media Solutions: The advertising sales division within Expedia works with hotels, car rental companies, tourism boards, and more to create advertising campaigns and place the companies’ brands in front of its millions of Expedia users around the world.
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Photo credit: Expedia dancers get down in Chicago. Daniel O'Neill / Flickr.com