Online Travel Growth Drives WRI Expansion

Web Reservations International
(WRI), the leading provider of on-line bookings for the Budget, Independent
and Youth Travel (BIYT) market, today announced a significant increase in
revenue and a major expansion plan for its travel system.
In the first six months of this year, WRI
has seen its business increase
significantly over the corresponding period last year. Sales have increased by
over 200% and the number of products available for sale over its booking
system has increased by over 300%.
  “We have seen phenomenal growth in bookings this year and we are now
expanding our operations to contract with more hostels, tour operators and
other products to fulfill demand,” said Tom Kennedy
, President & Founder of
WRI. “It is estimated that the Budget, Independent and Youth Travel market
will represent more than 25% of all travel by 2005 and it is the most web-
friendly segment of the market. Web Reservations International is already the
leader in technology and booking revenue in this market and we intend to grow
even faster in the future.”
Web Reservations International has already embarked on an expansion plan
that includes increasing product availability and marketing support for its booking system and website., a business
division of WRI, focuses on offering worldwide hostel and budget hotel
reservations.  Through it now books more than 6,000
beds per day in over 90 countries.

Expansion plans include:

    - The recruitment of over 200 hostels and budget hotels each month to
system, increasing the number of beds available
      for booking by 14,000 per month.

    - Increased focus on adding activity and tour products for the BIYT
      market. These include bungee jumping and bus tours.  These products
      will be offered through and new websites.

    - Sponsorship of a US College tour to promote its online booking sites
      for students.


    - Development of system, which provides travelers with
      full itinerary booking and management.

BIYT sector and the Internet
  The BIYT sector has been neglected by online travel companies because of
the low prices, low margins and the high cost of traditional booking systems.
These traditional booking systems, called Global Distribution Systems (GDS),
provide pre-Internet travel booking systems. However, the high cost of
installing and using GDS systems makes them unsuitable for both BIYT product
providers and travel companies.
In comparison, WRI`s Internet booking system provides a web only, low cost
booking system, effectively becoming the GDS of the BIYT sector.
  The BIYT market is one of the fastest growing online segments. It
comprises students, youths, backpackers and independent travelers. They
typically are web-savvy, value conscious and tend to take extended vacations
and set the travel trends for the business travelers of the future.