SideStep Launches Vacation Package Search

17th May 2005

SideStep has today announced the Beta release of its new
vacation package service, which enables consumers to search multiple sites
at once for vacation escapes to more than 90 popular destinations
worldwide. SideStep is the first travel search company to offer consumers choices
from a variety of providers with a single click. This new service
significantly simplifies a traditionally complex process. According to
Gartner Group, while travelers check an average of 4.2 sites before
booking a flight, they check 5.8 sites before booking a vacation package.
With SideStep, travelers can now turn to a single site to explore and book
travel packages.

This new vacation package service saves travelers money as well as time.
For example, a recent SideStep search for an eight day trip for two from
San Francisco to Orlando uncovered a flight/hotel package available at
$489 less than the a la carte price. A similar search for a Cancun package
offered an $829 savings.

SideStep’s vacation search also delivers significant benefits to travel
providers. Vacation packages offer attractive profit margins, and many
travel providers are placing substantial emphasis on the sale of these
products. With the introduction of vacation package search, SideStep will
help its marketing partners to promote their most rewarding offerings.
Partners include Vacation Outlet, Pleasant Holidays and Orbitz, with
additional travel providers to be announced shortly.

“With more than 4.2 million unique monthly visitors, SideStep gives us
access to an audience that is both sizeable and well-qualified,” said
Aaron Gowell, President and CEO of Vacation Outlet’s parent company, NLG.
“We’re confident that our partnership with SideStep will yield a large
volume of new customers for us and are excited to be part of the launch of
this valuable new service.”

“SideStep created and leads the travel search space, and this launch
confirms our continuing commitment to innovation,” said Russ Lemelin,
SideStep’s interim CEO. “Vacation packages offer notable savings to
consumers and better margins for travel suppliers. Our new service serves
both groups extremely well, and we anticipate rapid adoption among
travelers and the companies that want to reach them.”


PhoCusWright projects that online package sales will reach $10.3B by 2006,
a 368% increase in three years. By that time, the research firm
anticipates that 13% of all air, car and hotel sales booked online will be
booked as part of a package.



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