Web Reservations International Acquires Worldres Business

7th Mar 2005

Web Reservations International (WRI) announced today that it is acquiring the business and assets of WorldRes, the online hotel reservation network. The WorldRes business will operate as a new division of WRI and continue to use the WorldRes brand. The acquisition brings more than 35,000 hotels and 2,000 websites in 160 countries, as well as online travel agents, tourist boards and destination management companies, to the WRI platform. WorldRes technology gives hotel partners greater inventory and pricing control, supported by a truly global network of distribution partners, including Opodo.com, Lastminute.com, SAS.com and Hotels.de.

Web Reservations International CEO and Co-Founder, Ray Nolan, stated: “WRI has built a successful and profitable budget accommodation business, and this acquisition will significantly broaden our operations. We look forward to applying our unique business model to the global hotel market. We believe our emphasis on value and clarity will be highly attractive to existing WorldRes hotels and we look forward to growing the WorldRes business as a part of WRI.”

Under the terms of the acquisition most of the assets and business contracts of WorldRes will transfer immediately to WRI, and existing business operations will transfer seamlessly and immediately to WRI’s new WorldRes division. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Said Nolan: “In every way, this is a winning deal. WRI will add some 1,000 distribution outlets, providing WorldRes’ member hotels with the opportunity to significantly grow their business. For distribution partners, WRI will also deliver new technology providing transparency and clarity on revenue earned. We aim to reduce or remove the time-consuming and costly book-stay-reconcile-pay cycle for hotels and affiliates.”

Web Reservations International will now operate two separate business units:


* Hostels division, focusing on online bookings and reservations technology for the budget, independent and youth travel sector through its Hostelworld.com, Hostels.com and other brands. Leading this unit will be Tom Kennedy, President and Co-Founder of Web Reservations International. The Hostel division will continue with its own dedicated support team, concentrating on growing the hostels business.

* Hotels division, focusing on online hotel reservations through trade relationships with hotel and affiliate partners. This business will be managed for the immediate future by Ray Nolan, CEO and Co-Founder of Web Reservations International, assisted by the WorldRes management team and staff, who will move to this new division.

Nolan commented: “WRI has a proven business model that can bring greater profitability to hotels’ online sales operations. The WorldRes technology, managed through WRI, will allow hotels to have more success than ever before.”

Nolan will become Group CEO of the expanded Web Reservations International organisation. The company will be headquartered in Dublin, with offices in Germany, the United States and Australia.


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