Expedia , a leading UK online travel service, today strengthened its merchant business with the addition of car rentals.
Expedia’s technology platform will allow users to purchase car hire as part of package, fly drive or as a stand alone component. Avis cars will be integrated into the existing purchase path enabling the user to make one simple online transaction.
Avis has been appointed preferred supplier and is providing vehicles in 15 countries across North America and Europe. As part of the deal Avis is launching voucher-less booking exclusively with Expedia so travellers can simply turn up at the rental desk with their booking confirmation number to pick up their vehicle. Expedia will offer all-inclusive, transparent and competitive pricing.
Expedia’s merchant revenues - derived from its Expedia Special Rate hotels and from Flights + dynamic packages - surpassed agency commissions for the first time in March this year and are the fastest growing revenue stream, accounting for $98.5m in the September 2002 quarter, up 189% year on year.
‘Expedia’s merchant hotel business is already very successful and passes on great cost savings to customers,’ said Chris Roe, sales manager at Expedia.co.uk. ‘With our unrivalled technology and a great partner in Avis we hope to achieve the same success in car rentals.’
‘We are delighted to be part of this groundbreaking partnership and see it as a perfect opportunity to launch a seamless service,’ said Julia Kemp, head of UK leisure sales at Avis. ‘We see voucherless travel as a vital step forward for car hire and the travel industry as a whole.’
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