ResortQuest International, Inc. (NYSE: RZT), the world`s largest vacation rental property management company, today announced two agreements that mark the company`s international expansion. ResortQuest has entered into an agreement with Online Travel Corporation, PLC (LSE: ONT) to exclusively develop the ResortQuest Brand in Europe. Online Travel Corporation is one of the largest online travel providers in Europe with access to over 15 million users. ResortQuest also announced the expansion of its previously announced alliance with Interval Travel, a sister company of Interval International, to include the listing of its timeshare properties internationally. The two alliances will provide ResortQuest with an entry point to the vast offshore vacation travel market estimated at over $200 billion per year.
Under the terms of the strategic alliance with Online Travel, ResortQuest will receive a royalty fee based on gross revenues related to units acquired or aggregated under this program, and an exclusivity fee as well as other cross selling fees. Online Travel Corporation will retain majority ownership of the European expansion and utilize ResortQuest technology and expertise in this area. The initial terms of the alliance call for a five year agreement.
“These two partnerships will enable ResortQuest to expand our outreach into the international market, and achieve both short and long-term value and growth. Online Travel and Interval are both market leaders and these arrangements will enable ResortQuest to increase our revenues without bearing the costs associated with expansion,” said David Levine, chairman, president and chief executive officer of ResortQuest. “We believe that in the next year we will reap immense benefits from our partnership with Online Travel. We are an excellent fit with Online Travel because we share strong brand name recognition, have developed excellent property management software, employ a sound and successful business strategy and have a strong and loyal customer base. In addition, we can achieve immediate results by listing Interval`s portfolio of selected timeshare inventory on our Website. We continue to build the necessary infrastructure and partnerships to make ResortQuest`s Web site the one-stop destination for all listings and bookings in the vacation rental industry, building on the existing Toll Road technology.
Levine continued, “ResortQuest has enjoyed great success in bringing vacationers to the United States from Europe, and we took great care in choosing a company to partner with in Europe to help build upon that success. Ultimately, we recognized the strength of the Online Travel model and the leadership of industry veteran and leader Tomasso Zanzotto, Online Travel`s chairman and former chief executive officer of Hilton International. As a result, we think there is great upside in building this international bridge and delivering value to our property owners, guests and shareholders.”
“Partnering with ResortQuest is a fantastic opportunity for Online Travel to increase our customer base as well as offer a whole new range of products. Our focus to date has been on specifically tailored, flight-based travel packages designed to meet each client`s needs. Now we will have the ability to build off of ResortQuest`s leadership and success in the U.S. market and offer a variety of lodging accommodations, both in Europe and the United States,“said Tommaso Zanzotto. “There is no question that developing a roster of properties through ResortQuest in Europe will yield cross-sales in both Europe and the United States.”
The ResortQuest and Online Travel alliance will benefit from each company`s dedication to technological development. Both companies have developed industry-leading Web sites to aid users, and also offer online travel booking opportunities.
As part of the terms of the agreement, ResortQuest will grant Online Travel a non-exclusive license to access all relevant proprietary technology for multi-channel sales, administration and fulfillment procedures. Online Travel will also implement a comparable version of ResortQuest`s established quality rating system for all European properties. In addition to the agreement, the companies announced that David Levine has been named as an advisory director of Online Travel Corporation, effective immediately.
By extending the terms of its agreement with Interval, ResortQuest will now have access to numerous Interval resort destinations in the international market to list on its Web site. “ResortQuest has achieved great synergy in working with Interval to bring its time share vacation inventory online and we recognize the value that this expanded agreement provides to ResortQuest homeowners and guests, as well as Interval customers and affiliates,” said David Levine.
About On Line Travel Corporation, PLC:
Online Travel is an Internet based travel technology and distribution business, providing a comprehensive range of technological solutions, travel products and ancillary travel services to ISP`s, Media and Affinity Groups and Corporate Organisations. It provides bespoke technology solutions linked to its wide product range to produce a one-stop travel service through the Internet, supported by telephone call centres for leisure and corporate clients to fulfil their travel needs. Online Travel provides a comprehensive range of travel products and ancillary travel services is both a travel agent and tour operator. Online Travel strategy focuses on low-cost routes to market with lower customer acquisition costs compared to that of a mass-market consumer brand and is focused on selected business areas. Online Travel has launched some 70 travel sites with Strategic Partners in the last 18 months and via these partner sites has access to a potential customer base to over 15 million online users. Online Travel is quoted on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange. Additional information is available at www.onlinetravelcorporation.com
About Interval Travel:
Interval Travel is a full-service travel agency and sister company of Interval International, the quality exchange company. Interval is celebrating its 25th year in the vacation ownership industry. The company`s reputation for superior products and the highest levels of quality, service and value has attracted leading developers to its network. Interval serves its developer clients and consumer members through 30 offices in 21 countries.
About ResortQuest International:
ResortQuest International, the first brand name and “real-time” online booking service (www.resortquest.com / AOL Keyword: ResortQuest) in vacation condominium and home rentals and sales, provides a one-stop resource in 50 premier resort destinations in the U.S. and Canada. ResortQuest is the world`s largest vacation rental property management company, based on a portfolio of over 20,000 vacation rental properties with a combined real estate value estimated in excess of $7.0 billion.