BELLEVUE, Wash. – Dec. 8, 2004 – Expedia®, the world’s leading online travel agency, has introduced three new online resources to help consumers research, evaluate, and confidently choose their next hotel or destination activity. Travelers now have the ability to narrow down and prioritize hotels based on the amenities they offer, and also review new online “traveler opinions”that provide additional insight from customers who have stayed at that hotel. Expedia is also making it easier to book destination activities, attractions, and services by introducing a separate “activities”tab.
“Our focus remains on making it easier for customers to research, evaluate, and book travel,”said Bill Bliss, senior vice president, product and customer experience. “With these new features, Expedia is giving customers additional ways to help them find the perfect hotel and destination activity for their trip. Also, our hotel and activity partners are given additional avenues to differentiate their products. It’s a win-win situation.”
Helping Customers Find the Perfect Hotel
Expedia customers have rich resources at their fingertips to help evaluate and select the right hotel for their trip — including photos, virtual tours, maps, flexible rate calendars, room layout views, and more. Expedia continues to innovate the hotel booking experience by introducing a new hotel amenities filter that allows customers to narrow down search results to show only those hotels with the chosen amenities. Travelers can simply search for hotels in the chosen destination and then click on the “narrow search by choosing amenities”icon found at the top of the search results page. Customers can select from a list of 13 hotel services and amenities, including high-speed Internet access, swimming pools, free parking, pets accepted, and more — and the resulting amenity-filtered search results will make the decision of where to stay that much easier.
Only Expedia lets travelers see how many hotels will appear in the search results for all of the chosen amenities. Next to each amenity is a number showing how many hotels with that particular feature will appear in the search. As additional amenities are selected, the number of hotels that meet all criteria will appear next to the search button, ensuring that each search yields results that bring consumers closer to finding the perfect hotel. The hotel amenities filter is available for all Expedia.com travelers, as well as Expedia Corporate Travel, and Expedia Business Advantage customers.
Want a Second Opinion on a Hotel? See What Other Travelers Have to Say
According to a recent Forrester Research survey, more than 56 percent of U.S. leisure travelers say that they typically seek out advice from friends or family when it’s time to research a trip . Expedia’s new traveler opinions connect Expedia customers with reviews containing first-hand knowledge and insight from other Expedia travelers who have already experienced that particular hotel — providing instrumental feedback during any hotel selection process.
Expedia has set up rigorous standards to ensure that traveler opinions posted on the site offer a legitimate and relevant viewpoint. As such, only travelers who have booked a stay at that particular hotel within the past six months can submit a review — and all reviews expire after 12 months of being posted. Expedia’s hotel partners are also invited to respond to traveler opinions on the site, ensuring a blend of perspectives for the traveler to consider. To read or submit traveler opinions, Expedia customers can simply click on the “traveler opinions”tab on the left-hand side of each hotel’s information page. Initial trials of the Expedia traveler opinions have rolled out to every Expedia® Special Rate hotel in San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle, with additional markets being added in the coming weeks.
Ensure the Best Vacation Experience: Easily Add Activities to Your Vacation!
In addition to flight, hotel, car, and cruise arrangements, Expedia has also helped millions of people book in-destination activities, attractions, and travel services for their trips since 2001. Activities on Expedia can include everything from the adventurous (swimming with sharks, mountain biking, sand surfing) to the practical (dinner reservations, museum tickets, and airport ground transportation); from the romantic (sunset cruises, weddings) to the family-friendly (theme park and Broadway show tickets). Since its launch in 2001, Expedia has helped more than 2,100 couples get married; sent more than 19,000 people to luaus; and secured equipment rentals, lift tickets, and mountain transfers for more than 41,000 skiers and snowboarders.
Expedia’s new “Activities”page — www.expedia.com/activities — now allows customers to book activities, attractions, and services during any part of the trip research, planning, and booking process, allowing travelers to save time and money by booking ahead. The Activities page provides ample inspiration, with over 2,000 compelling offerings in more than 250 regions worldwide, including categories like Air & Land Adventures, Spa & Beauty, Culinary Experiences, and Water Activities & Cruises.
Expedia’s leadership in this category has also led to a number of exclusive activities that are only available through Expedia.com. For example, Expedia is proud to be the only online travel site to offer Zero Gravity’s weightless flight experience. Travelers can take a vacation into outer space, courtesy of an exclusive partnership between Expedia and Zero Gravity Corporation. After a training session conducted by a veteran astronaut, customers board a Boeing 727, climb to an altitude of 34,000 feet, and then enjoy a series of exciting pitches and dives that replicate the experience of floating in space. As part of the activity fee, the space travelers will be welcomed back to earth with a re-gravitation party. Find this once-in-a-lifetime activity and more at www.expedia.com/activities.
About Expedia, Inc.
Expedia, Inc. is the world’s leading online travel service and the fourth largest travel agency in the U.S. 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 services and activities. Expedia’s quality and leadership have been recognized in awards such as PC Magazine’s “Editors’ Choice”and Forbes’ “Favorite General Travel Site.”Expedia, Inc. is an operating company of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI). CST: 2029030-40
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