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Expedia Overhauls Hotel Reviews - Consumers Can Now Sort Verified Reviews by Shared Interest

Press Releases   •   Mar 08, 2012 12:00 EST

BELLEVUE, Wash., March 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Expedia.com®, the world's leading online travel agency, today announced a thorough overhaul of its hotel reviews feature, incorporating new improvements that will make its collection of verified hotel reviews, more accessible and relevant to prospective travelers.  As part of this overhaul, Expedia will incorporate all the verified reviews from its sister company, Hotels.com®, into its collection which will bring the total number of verified reviews available to Expedia customers to more than 7.5 million.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110121/SF33870LOGO-b)

Expedia reviews are vetted and verified. Expedia takes multiple steps to ensure the validity of customer reviews, including the step of ensuring that the reviews are posted by travelers who have paid for a room in the hotel they are reviewing.

One of the most important changes to the reviews program is in its relevancy. Travelers can now write reviews for a particular audience of their choosing, such as dog lovers, adrenaline junkies or foodies. When a mother is looking for akid-friendly hotel in a large city, she will be able to sort through a potentially rich collection of reviews written by other mothers who have stayed with their children in that city. Reviewers have an option to choose their review target audience as families, business travelers, couples, students or "other," with the final category an open field.  About 2 million existing million existing reviews have been categorized as written for families, business travelers and couples.

Also, in addition to the photos provided by the hotels, Expedia now allows reviewers to include their own photos in their review, to make those reviews even more descriptive.

"Travelers will be able to see user photos, and reviews written for travelers that share their interests," said John Kim, Senior Vice President, Expedia. "When they come to Expedia, we provide them with the best travel decision making experience on the web."

With such a sizable collection of reviews (some hotels have thousands) Expedia set out to create a rich, interactive way for customers to filter and sort reviews. Travelers can now find relevant content quickly and can share that content with their traveling companions, friends and relatives. Travelers can now sort reviews by rating, date submitted, language, traveler type and photos and share reviews (both their own and others') via Facebook and Twitter.

Expedia has also implemented a "thank the reviewer" feature so readers can express their appreciation to the reviewer if that review has been helpful.  The process of submitting reviews has also been streamlined and simplified.

About Expedia
Expedia.com is the world's leading online travel site, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia.com (http://www.expedia.com/, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of vacation packagesflightshotelsrental carscruises and in-destination activities, attractions, and services. With the Expedia Best Price Guarantee, Expedia.com customers can get the best rates available online for all types of travel.

Expedia, Expedia.com and the Airplane logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Hotels.com is a trademark or registered trademark of Hotels.com, LP.  Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. © 2012 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-50 
Web site: http://www.expedia.com/  

SOURCE Expedia, Inc.

BELLEVUE, Wash., March 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Expedia.com®, the world's leading online travel agency, today announced a thorough overhaul of its hotel reviews feature, incorporating new improvements that will make its collection of verified hotel reviews, more accessible and relevant to prospective travelers.

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Expedia Data Continues to Show Growth Trends for the Caribbean at the Closing of 2011

Press Releases   •   Mar 02, 2012 12:00 EST

Bellevue, Washington - March 2nd, 2012 - Expedia, Inc., the largest online travel company in the world, released data today showing a 12 percent increase in room nights booked to the Caribbean during the fourth quarter of 2011 on its more than 100 Expedia® and Hotels.com®-branded travel booking sites worldwide. 

The online travel leader formed new partnerships throughout the Caribbean region during 2011, adding nearly 120 Caribbean properties to its portfolio throughout the year, thereby advancing the company’s commitment to driving tourism growth in the region. By working with Expedia, hotels in the Caribbean gain exposure to the nearly 60 million travelers that visit Expedia, Inc. travel sites each month, which includes Expedia-branded sites in 30 countries; Hotels.com sites in more than 60 countries; Egencia® corporate travel serving business travelers in 47 countries; leading discount travel site Hotwire®; as well as Expedia® Affiliate Network, which powers travel bookings for more than ten thousand affiliate websites.

“It is highly beneficial for our hotel partners in the Caribbean to participate in vacation package offerings as a strategic merchandising tool, which is one of the most solid value propositions the company has to offer,” said Demetrius Canton, Director of Market Management for the Caribbean. “Expedia vacation packages enables hotels to bundle their rates with flights or car rentals, allowing hotels to maintain rate integrity, while attracting travelers who typically have extended booking windows and longer lengths of stay. It’s truly a win-win proposition for hotels and consumers, who benefit with a completely customized vacation package that best fits their travel needs.”

Through Expedia, Caribbean hotels achieved growth in bookings during the fourth quarter of 2011 from several key international markets:

• 12 percent increase in bookings to Caribbean from the U.S.
• 31 percent increase in bookings from the U.K.
• 22 percent increase in bookings from Italy
• 37 percent increase in bookings from Germany
• 44 percent increase in bookings from Brazil

Destinations in the Caribbean with the most significant year over year bookings growth across all Expedia, Inc. travel sites worldwide:

• Trinidad & Tobago, with a 46 percent increase in bookings
• Dominican Republic, 40 percent increase
• Bahamas, 25 percent increase
• Curacao, 21 percent increase
• Turks & Caicos, 18 percent increase
• St. Lucia, 15 percent increase 

For more on how Expedia helps destinations and hotel partners reach a global audience, watch the International Travel Trends video here: http://press.expediainc.com/index.php?s=98

# # # #

About Expedia, Inc. 
Expedia, Inc. is the largest online travel company in the world, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes some of the world’s leading online travel brands, including:

• Expedia.com®, the world’s largest full service online travel agency, with localized sites in more than 25 countries
• Hotels.com®, the hotel specialist with sites in more than 60 countries
• Leading discount travel site Hotwire®, which offers opaque hotel deals from hotel in nine countries on its eight sites in North America and Europe
• Egencia®, the world's fifth largest corporate travel management company; 
• China's second largest booking site eLong™ 
• Leading agency hotel company Venere.com™
• Destination services and activities provider Expedia Local Expert®; and 
• Luxury travel specialist Classic Vacations®.

The company delivers consumers value in leisure and business travel, drives incremental demand and direct bookings to travel suppliers, and provides advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly valuable audience of in-market travel consumers through Expedia Media Solutions. Expedia also powers bookings for some of the world’s leading airlines and hotels, top consumer brands, high traffic websites, and thousands of active affiliates through Expedia® Affiliate Network. (NASDAQ: EXPE) For corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc.

Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners. © 2012 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-50

Expedia reports a 12 percent increase in bookings to the Caribbean in the last quarter of 2011 Dominican Republic leads demand for Caribbean destinations during the fourth quarter, followed by Puerto Rico and Jamaica

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Expedia Study Outlines Economic Impact on Travel in America: Americans Today Likelier to Traverse the Country Than the World

Press Releases   •   Mar 02, 2012 12:00 EST

BELLEVUE, Wash., March 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Expedia.com®, the world's leading online travel agency, today released the results of a study of American attitudes in today's economy as they relate to domestic travel, international travelhotel selection criteria and social media. The American Traveler survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Expedia from February 16-20, 2012 among 2,262 adults ages 18 and older. Among other findings, it revealed that a full 41% of Americans – and nearly 1 in 2 men (49%) – have driven across the United States at one point. Just under one in four Americans (23%), and one in three students (31%) are "at least somewhat likely" to travel internationally in the next year.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110121/SF33870LOGO-b)

Forty percent of Americans report the economic downturn over the past few years did not impact their personal/leisure travel. They "travel as usual," particularly those between 35 and 44 years of age (46%). A percentage of young men (13%) and women (14%) aged 18 -34 are taking more trips these days, perhaps because a down economy prompts travel destinations to sweeten deals.

"This study, combined with our own data, tells us a lot about how Americans are traveling in today's economy.  Our data shows that even though Americans are taking fewer flights, they are booking more hotel nights.  We believe that Americans are proving to be resilient in a down economy, by driving instead of flying and taking more frequent, shorter trips," said Joe Megibow, vice president and general manager, Expedia.com. "The study also showed how important friends and family were to the travel experience. Friends and family were the most important resource when choosing a hotel. Social networks are enabling new reach when seeking advice on travel, and we are thrilled to be able to help share that knowledge."

Eighty-one percent of Americans have visited at least one of twelve major U.S. landmarks in their travels. Approximately one third of people have visited the National Mall in Washington DC, the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Grand Canyon, while approximately one in four have visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Route 66, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Alamo.

Expedia's American Traveler study also found that:

Social media keeps travelers connected.

  • 75% of those who travel use social media.
    • 51% of those users do so to stay connected while on a trip regularly or periodically.
    • 18 – 44 year olds are more likely than those aged 45 or older to use social media sites to connect with others during trip.

For some American families, social media is connection enough.

  • 12% of Americans say they are less likely to visit their family in person thanks to social media, while 25% say they are more likely to visit family in person.
  • Among those who use Feedback to connect with family members, younger adults aged 18 – 34 (22%) and those living in the West (22%) are significantly more likely to indicate that they are less likely to visit family.

78% of Americans rely on reviews to provide direction when selecting a hotel.

  • The primary review source is friends and family (51%).
    • A slightly higher percentage cited friends (44%) than cited family (40%).
  • The hotel's own web site is the second-most important source of reviews (47%).

Men are more likely to have ever driven cross-country than women (49% compared to 34%).

  • Both genders still dream of the open road: 25% of men and 33% of women have "not done so but always wanted to" drive across the country.
  • Westerners are more adventurous, with 57% having made the cross-country vehicle journey, significantly higher than those in the Northeast (31%).

13% report having purchased travel via a "flash sale".

  • Young adults aged 18 -34 (24%) and those living in the West (21%) were most likely than their counterparts to have done so.

About Expedia.com
Expedia.com is the world's leading online travel site, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia.com (http://www.expedia.com/, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of vacation packagesflightshotelsrental carscruises and in-destination activities, attractions, and services. With the Expedia Best Price Guarantee, Expedia.com customers can get the best rates available online for all types of travel.

Expedia, Expedia.com and the Airplane logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. © 2012 Expedia, Inc.  All rights reserved.  CST # 2029030-50

Survey Methodology:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Expedia from February 16th – 20th, 2012 among 2,262 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Sarah Keeling or Devon Nagle at the information below.

SOURCE Expedia, Inc.

New study reveals 23% "at least somewhat likely" to travel internationally in coming year; 41% have driven across the United States

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Expedia and Aeroflot Sign Strategic Partnership Agreement

Press Releases   •   Mar 01, 2012 12:00 EST

BELLEVUE, Wash., Mar. 1, 2012 -- Expedia, Inc., the world's largest travel company, today announced a new long-term global partnership agreement with Aeroflot, Russia’s national carrier and the largest airline in the country. The agreement, which is the Russian carrier’s first with an online travel agency, makes Aeroflot’s complete schedule of fares and inventory available to the millions of leisure travelers that visit Expedia®- and Hotwire®-branded sites worldwide each month, as well as to business travelers in more than 40 countries through corporate travel provider Egencia®. 

“By expanding our online presence through our partnership with Expedia, we’re better equipped to reach the growing audience of consumers choosing to research and book their travel on the web,” said Andrew Novokshonov, Aeroflot’s General Manager in the United States. “We’re confident this partnership with Expedia will help Aeroflot to maintain its position as Russia’s leading airline, while growing brand recognition and delivering more bookings from travelers in countries that we’ve previously been unable to reach.”

“We’re quite excited to have formed this partnership with Aeroflot because it allows Expedia to provide consumers with an even more robust selection of air travel options in Expedia’s global travel marketplace,” said Greg Schulze, senior vice president of global tour and transport for Expedia Worldwide. “We think it only serves to enhance the level of value we deliver to our travelers, which is really our ultimate goal.”

About Expedia, Inc.
Expedia, Inc. is the largest online travel company in the world, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes some of the world’s leading online travel brands, including:

• Expedia.com®, the world’s largest full service online travel agency, with localized sites in more than 25 countries
• Hotels.com®, the hotel specialist with sites in more than 60 countries
• Leading discount travel site Hotwire®, which offers opaque deals in nine countries on its eight sites in North America and Europe
• Egencia®, the world's fifth largest corporate travel management company 
• China's second largest booking site eLong™ 
• Leading agency hotel company Venere.com™
• Destination services and activities provider Expedia Local Expert®; and 
• Luxury travel specialist Classic Vacations®

The company delivers consumers value in leisure and business travel, drives incremental demand and direct bookings to travel suppliers, and provides advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly valuable audience of in-market travel consumers through Expedia Media Solutions. Expedia also powers bookings for some of the world’s leading airlines and hotels, top consumer brands, high traffic websites, and thousands of active affiliates through Expedia® Affiliate Network. (NASDAQ: EXPE) For corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc.

Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners. © 2012 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-50

BELLEVUE, Wash., Mar. 1, 2012 -- Expedia, Inc., the world's largest travel company, today announced a new long-term global partnership agreement with Aeroflot, Russia’s national carrier and the largest airline in the country.

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A Passport to the World: Expedia and the Passport Party Project Help Teen Girls Obtain First Passport

Press Releases   •   Feb 21, 2012 12:00 EST

BELLEVUE, Wash., Feb. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Expedia.com®, the world's leading online travel agency, announced today that the company will serve as the official travel sponsor of The Passport Party Project. The Passport Party Project is a philanthropic initiative started by award-winning travel blogger and entrepreneur Tracey Friley, founder of OneBrownGirl.com® and OBG Adventure Camps.  The Passport Party Project hosts parties for ten girls each throughout the United States, giving teen girls, aged 11-15, the tools to obtain their first passports. The goal is to inspire these girls to use their passports to ultimately take their first-ever trip abroad.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110121/SF33870LOGO-b)

As official travel sponsor, Expedia® will host a contest for Passport Party participants after 100 girls have received their first passport. Six contest winners will earn a free trip to an international destination, accompanied by a parent or a legal guardian and Friley, where they will earn their first passport stamp.

"International travel is a formative experience, especially for young adults. Experiencing life beyond our local boundaries is the ideal way to gain perspective not only on other cultures, but on our own as well," said Joe Megibow, vice president and general manager, Expedia.com. "We are inspired by the passion of Tracey Friley and the challenge that the Passport Party Project has undertaken.  Helping young women obtain their passports literally opens up a world of opportunity to them, many of whom may not have had the means or knowledge to consider traveling abroad."

"For these girls, passports aren't a priority in their households. Travel is likely a luxury and not a lifestyle. Having a passport has the potential to change how a young girl views herself and her place in the world," said Tracey Friley. "It's as much about the possibilities as it is about hopping a plane. I'm honored to be a part of a global awareness initiative that has the potential to create explorers, and ecstatic that Expedia shares my view."

Expedia was first introduced to Tracey Friley and the Passport Party Project at the 2011 Travel Blog Exchange conference (TBEX) in Vancouver, a conference started and run by travel blogger Kim Mance. Expedia was energized by the mission set forth by Tracey and moved to begin working together for the Passport Party Project.

"We hold an open forum at TBEX between travel bloggers and companies to exchange partnership ideas with hope for an outcome just like this," said Kim Mance. "We're thrilled Expedia was not only savvy enough to listen to what bloggers like Tracey Friley are doing, but act on it. Their support of this fantastic project shows a company with real heart, and I'm thrilled to follow along to see the good it spreads."

In 2012, Expedia and the Passport Party Project will host parties in the following cities:

  • Austin, TX – March 2012
  • Miami, FL – April 2012
  • Denver, CO – June 2012
  • New York, NY – August 2012
  • Chicago, IL  - September 2012
  • Washington, DC – October 2012

 In the first quarter of 2013, Passport Parties will take place in:

  • Atlanta, GA – February 2013
  • San Diego, CA – March 2013
  • San Francisco Bay Area, CA – March 2013

For more information about Expedia's sponsorship of the Passport Party Project please visit the Expedia media room orwww.passportpartyproject.org. Follow along on Twitter @Expedia or @OneBrownGirl, #PassportPartyProject.

About Expedia.com
Expedia.com is the world's leading online travel site, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia.com (http://www.expedia.com/, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of vacation packagesflightshotelsrental cars, cruises and in-destination activities, attractions, and services. With the Expedia Best Price Guarantee, Expedia.com customers can get the best rates available online for all types of travel.

Expedia, Expedia.com and the Airplane logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. © 2012 Expedia, Inc.  All rights reserved.  CST # 2029030-50

SOURCE Expedia.com

Six Passport Party participants, aged 11-15, will then take first-ever trip abroad, sponsored by Expedia.com

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About Expedia, Inc.

Expedia.com is the world's leading online travel site.

Expedia.com is the world's leading online travel site, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia.com (http://www.expedia.com/, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of vacation packages, flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises and in-destination activities, attractions, and services. With the Expedia Best Price Guarantee, Expedia.com customers can get the best rates available online for all types of travel.

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