Omar Ahmad, a 20-year Travel Industry Veteran and Expedia.ca Founding Member, Appointed to Lead Expedia Corporate Travel® Canada
BELLEVUE, Wash., SAN DIEGO and TORONTO, Aug. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — At the National Business Travel Association’s (NBTA) 37th Annual Convention and Trade Show in San Diego, Calif., Expedia® Corporate Travel, the No. 1 on-demand, full-service travel agency, today announced plans to launch Expedia® Corporate Travel Canada during the first quarter of 2006. The fully-integrated off- and online business travel service in Canada will build upon Expedia® Corporate Travel’s current service footprint in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
With headquarters in Toronto, Expedia® Corporate Travel Canada will initially cater to travel managers, executives and financial personnel responsible for the business travel of small and mid-sized businesses. Due to Expedia® Corporate Travel’s proven online adoption levels, Canadian companies can be confident that as a customer of Expedia® Corporate Travel’s on-demand technology platform, they will be offered the opportunity to drive efficiencies within their corporate travel management program and realize substantial cost-savings. Currently, Expedia® Corporate Travel’s United States-based customers are averaging an online adoption rate of more than 85 percent.
Expedia® Corporate Travel Canada will provide a full-service option for Canadian companies by bringing together the best of Expedia® Corporate Travel’s technology and agent-assisted services in a complete, single-source solution. Canadian customers will achieve the same benefits that Expedia® Corporate Travel customers in the U.S. and Europe are experiencing, including ease-of-use, flexibility and control, as well as robust travel policy management.
In addition, business travelers will experience superior customer service and support, including 24/7 access to agents, as well as an International Rate Desk for agent-assisted review of international bookings to identify additional savings opportunities. Consultative Account Managers will be available to work directly with Expedia® Corporate Travel Canada customers as their central point of contact, providing client-relations support at the corporate level, including help with online adoption, planning, training, and cost-saving strategies.
Customers will also be able to compare a variety of booking prices — including published rates, web fares and their own corporate negotiated rates, in addition to rates from low-cost Canadian airline carriers — all in one online search.
Omar Ahmad, one of the founders of Expedia, Inc.’s Canadian leisure travel site, Expedia.ca, will lead product development, marketing, supplier relations, operations and sales efforts as managing director of Expedia® Corporate Travel Canada. Ahmad, who has nearly 20 years of travel industry experience, was most recently director of supplier relations and travel operations for Expedia.ca. Prior to that, he held executive positions for American Express Travel’s global supplier relations group and also owned and operated a Canadian travel agency.
“Canadians have embraced Expedia.ca with a strong degree of loyalty to the Expedia brand,” said Ahmad. “Our research shows that many Canadian businesses are also using Expedia.ca for their corporate travel initiatives, but obviously there is much more we can provide for them. Expedia Corporate Travel Canada will be a natural next step for those businesses and their travelers to adopt into their corporate settings.
Expedia® Corporate Travel’s entry into the Canadian market highlights its ongoing strategy to build and implement a global travel management technology and services platform. Last year, Expedia® Corporate Travel expanded internationally with the launch of Expedia® Corporate Travel Europe, following the travel agency acquisitions of French-based Egencia and U.K.-based World Travel Management.
“With a successful international track record already under our belts, our vision continues to be to deliver the first truly global platform for companies to manage their travel programs- anywhere and anytime,” said Cheryl Rosner, president of Expedia® Corporate Travel’s worldwide organization. “As we expand our global footprint into Canada, this is yet another integral step forward in bringing this strategy to fruition.”
About Expedia® Corporate Travel
Expedia Corporate Travel is the No. 1 on-demand, full-service travel agency based on the total number of customer bookings through a single source including online and agent assisted. As part of Expedia, Inc., (NASDAQ: EXPE), one of the world’s leading online travel services companies and the third largest travel agency in the United States, Expedia® Corporate Travel, with locations currently in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg, brings together the best of technology and corporate support in a single-source solution that drives down costs. Business travelers have access to specialized tools, while companies can take advantage of rich management and reporting features.
Expedia and the airplane logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S., Canada and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
SOURCE: Expedia® Corporate Travel