Expedia Unveils New Ways to Help Customers Book

8th Dec 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(1). 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(R) 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

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—http://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 &

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


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