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A description of expedia travel agency as one of the largest online travel service

Expedia's award-winning Expert Searching and Pricing ESP technology delivers the most comprehensive flight options available online. ESP also allows customers to dynamically build complete trips that combine flights, Expedia Special Rate hotels and other lodging, ground transportation, and destination activities.

Expedia operates Classic Custom Vacations, a leading wholesaler of premiere vacation packages to destinations such as Hawaii, Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean; and Metropolitan Travel, a corporate travel agency. History of Expedia, Inc. Microsoft Corporation nurtured its start-up company, investing heavily in technology to provide advanced search capabilities and other features. Microsoft spun the company off in 1999 while retaining a controlling interest.

Over its short history Expedia has expanded in many ways. It has grown from primarily selling airline tickets and reaping the commissions, to offering a wide range of travel products such as discounted hotel rooms and packaged travel plans. It has developed cutting-edge technology solutions to make it easier for consumers to plan and purchase online travel. As a result, the company has weathered downturns in the market and outperformed numerous other online travel ventures to become the industry leader in online travel.

Offering Online Travel Services: Expedia allowed consumers to make air, car, and hotel reservations online and to browse a library of multimedia travel guides. At first, Expedia accepted bookings only from consumers, not from other travel agencies. At the time most consumers were using the Internet to browse rather than to purchase, so it was not clear whether they would utilize an online service to purchase travel services.

As the CD-ROM market was collapsing, he transferred to the multimedia group and developed the idea of selling travel online. He presented the concept to Microsoft cofounder and CEO Bill Gates at the company's annual product review, and Gates immediately approved the idea.

Online travel market - Statistics & Facts

Microsoft ran its first mainstream ad for Expedia in November 1996. A full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal urged consumers to access "the same reservation system" that travel agents used. In May 1997 Expedia upgraded its web site and added several new features, including airline seat selection, real-time flight information, and an expanded directory of hotels and bed-and-breakfast inns.

The travel service also added new destinations to its Expedia World Guide, which was the most popular feature of its web site. Other improvements included consolidating the Flight Wizard, Hotel Wizard, and Car Wizard onto a single screen, thus reducing download time. In February 1998 Expedia launched the Expedia Associates Program, which gave suppliers and other companies access to Expedia's booking engine to set up co-branded web sites.

Toward the end of 1998 Microsoft expanded Expedia's reach by launching an Expedia travel service in the United Kingdom. The site provided consumers with details on air fares, hotels, and car rentals. It also included a section offering discounted, late-availability packages from various tour operators. To book their travel services, consumers in the United Kingdom had to call a toll-free telephone number or send in an e-mail request.

Destination information on Expedia's U. In its first three months of operation, Expedia's U. About one-fourth of its business came from business travelers in small and medium-sized companies. In its third year of operation Expedia had become the 25th largest travel agency in the United States and was projected to join the top ten by the end of the year. The company had grown from a staff of 40 developers to more than 400 full-time employees, including about 250 customer service representatives who provided ticket fulfillment at Atlanta-based WorldTravel Partners.

Operating As a Public Subsidiary of Microsoft: It was the first time that Microsoft had spun off one of its businesses. The move suggested that electronic commerce in general, and online travel in particular, had become established. The company sold 5.

Microsoft retained the remaining 86.

  1. Another enhancement added during the year involved providing electronic ticketing for British Airways flights. The share of U.
  2. Revenue was boosted by strong activity in hotel and vacation packages, which offered higher margins than airline ticket commissions.
  3. Expedia also was facing another lawsuit filed by Reed Elsevier in November on behalf of its subsidiary, Cahners Travel Group, which claimed that Expedia breached a contract regarding the use of Cahners' worldwide hotel directory database.
  4. These companies often generate revenue via advertisements on their sites.
  5. The campaign's taglines were, "Don't just travel.

Similar to Priceline's online bidding service that allowed consumers to name a price they were willing to pay, Expedia's Price Matcher for hotels and airline tickets let consumers name their own price. Expedia also was facing another lawsuit filed by Reed Elsevier in November on behalf of its subsidiary, Cahners Travel Group, which claimed that Expedia breached a contract regarding the use of Cahners' worldwide hotel directory database. At the beginning of 2000 Expedia and Travelocity were locked in a battle for the top ranking among online travel services.

Following its IPO in November, Expedia experienced more traffic at its site than Travelocity during the 1999 holiday season, according to Media Metrix. Travelocity's planned takeover of Preview Travel and an alliance with Priceline. The campaign's taglines were, "Don't just travel. Travel right," and "Where do you want to go today? The company also announced that it would acquire Travelscape. The acquisition of these two online lodging leaders gave Expedia listings for 65,000 properties worldwide, guaranteed lowest hotel rates in 240 cities, and some two million room nights per year.

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The company had invested heavily in operations during the year, including new technology that enabled its pricing engine to run on PCs instead of a large mainframe computer. The new fare-searching technology meant that Expedia could price more itineraries than other travel agencies, giving customers more choices and more flexibility. Fiscal 2000 was also the first year that Expedia shifted its business model from one of primarily selling airline tickets to one that included more profitable lodging and package transactions.

The company's workforce also had grown to about 500 employees during the year. As a result, Technology Crossover gained a 7 percent interest in Expedia, with Microsoft retaining a 70 percent share of Expedia. Fiscal 2001 was a good year financially for Expedia. Expedia's revenue was bolstered in part by increased wholesale sales of inventory from lodging and travel package suppliers, which gave the company merchant income in addition to its traditional commission income from airline ticket sales.

In August 2000 Expedia committed further to its merchant model by acquiring Travelscape, which continued to maintain its format and operate independently. Expedia also formed a marketing alliance with eGulliver.

In November 2000 Expedia and Ziff-Davis Publishing launched Expedia Travel, a bimonthly travel magazine that began with a circulation of 200,000. Around this time Expedia also enhanced its service for business travelers by adding a feature that allowed one person in a company to book travel for a group. The company hired a tour operation manager in October 2000, and by early 2001 was working on expanding its Holiday Shop offerings of late tour deals. Another enhancement added during the year involved providing electronic ticketing for British Airways flights.

In Canada the company formed an alliance with online portal Excite Canada, integrating Expedia's services throughout Excite Canada's travel channel. In January 2001 Expedia and Priceline. The settlement allowed Expedia to continue to offer its Price Matcher services.

  1. USA Interactive soon to be renamed InterActiveCorp indicated that all of its properties would continue to operate independently. Offering Online Travel Services.
  2. Toward the end of 1998 Microsoft expanded Expedia's reach by launching an Expedia travel service in the United Kingdom. The acquisition of these two online lodging leaders gave Expedia listings for 65,000 properties worldwide, guaranteed lowest hotel rates in 240 cities, and some two million room nights per year.
  3. Similar to Priceline's online bidding service that allowed consumers to name a price they were willing to pay, Expedia's Price Matcher for hotels and airline tickets let consumers name their own price. Expedia also planned to bolster its corporate travel offerings in the coming year by going after accounts of large corporations.
  4. In August 2000 Expedia committed further to its merchant model by acquiring Travelscape, which continued to maintain its format and operate independently. As a result, the company has weathered downturns in the market and outperformed numerous other online travel ventures to become the industry leader in online travel.
  5. In February 1998 Expedia launched the Expedia Associates Program, which gave suppliers and other companies access to Expedia's booking engine to set up co-branded web sites. It was the first quarter that Expedia surpassed rival Travelocity.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Anticipating the launch of the airlines-backed online travel site Orbitz in June 2001, Expedia and Travelocity began adding new features and services.

Earlier in the year Expedia introduced a new flight search platform, Expert Searching and Pricing ESPafter four years of development. ESP was designed to integrate several existing site features into one user-friendly platform, thus giving consumers more choices and more control over their travel planning. Expedia also introduced a program called Bargain Fares, which allowed consumers to purchase blind tickets at a discount.

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After they purchased a ticket, consumers were told the flight time and name of the airlines. In its third quarter ending March 31, 2001, Expedia reported a surprising profit.

  • Price beat, price beat, price beat 2;
  • Expedia's revenue was bolstered in part by increased wholesale sales of inventory from lodging and travel package suppliers, which gave the company merchant income in addition to its traditional commission income from airline ticket sales;
  • In July Expedia acquired Seattle-based Metropolitan Travel in a move that positioned the company to compete in the corporate travel market.

Previously, the company had predicted that it would not become profitable until mid-2002. Meanwhile, Expedia was expanding internationally, launching sites in Holland and Italy. Through an alliance with online retailer Amazom.

Expedia had been growing when the disaster occurred, however, with gross bookings up 78 percent over the previous year. Revenue was boosted by strong activity in hotel and vacation packages, which offered higher margins than airline ticket commissions. It was the first quarter that Expedia surpassed rival Travelocity.

  • As a result, the company has weathered downturns in the market and outperformed numerous other online travel ventures to become the industry leader in online travel;
  • In the following year, online travel sales cumulatively generated 564;
  • Through an alliance with online retailer Amazom.

The announcement drove USA Interactive's stock price down some 12 percent, however, and the company tabled the proposal.

It subsequently acquired all of Ticketmaster in October 2002. In July Expedia acquired Seattle-based Metropolitan Travel in a move that positioned the company to compete in the corporate travel market. Metropolitan had about 230 corporate customers and some 150 employees. Expedia Corporate Travel, a full-service travel management company, was formally launched in November 2002. The company's strong financial results were attributed to a significant and early investment in technology and diversification into wholesale accommodations, where the company could set prices and control margins.

Approximately 60 percent of Expedia's 2002 revenue came from the sale of wholesale accommodations, which the company called its merchant business. The following year brought upper-level management changes as USA Interactive consolidated its ownership of Expedia. USA Interactive's stock-for-stock offer represented a 30 percent premium over Expedia's market price at the time. The next month Hotels. USA Interactive soon to be renamed InterActiveCorp indicated that all of its properties would continue to operate independently.

Online travel market

The company noted growth in its travel-package business, which accounted for 30 percent of quarterly revenue. Expedia also planned to bolster its corporate travel offerings in the coming year by going after accounts of large corporations. Expedia begins operations in the United Kingdom. Expedia is spun off from Microsoft as a publicly traded company, with Microsoft retaining a majority interest.