Europe`s Largest Hotel Companies and Worldres Form New Joint Venture

Three of Europe`s largest hotel companies - Accor, Six Continents and Hilton International - have invested in WorldRes Europe, a new joint venture created to market and sell hotels online throughout Europe.
is contributing its reservation technology and European subsidiary. This agreement is currently under review by the European Commission regulatory approval.

“We have been a WorldRes partner and investor since 2000. They continue to interface with our central reservation system, thus using the best technology for selling our hotels online,” said Jean-Marc Espalioux, CEO of Accor
. “We have agreed to invest and promote WorldRes Europe as the optimal means to find and book our hotels online. WorldRes Europe will make our hotel brands available to anyone with online access, including Web sites, call centers, tour operators and travel agents.”

The hotel companies have agreed to offer very competitive inventory and rates through WorldRes Europe, making it easy for Web sites around the world to market and sell Europe`s leading hotel brands. WorldRes Europe will sell the hotels through a variety of methods, including commissionable retail rates, wholesale net rates, packages and private negotiated rates. 

“We need to distribute our hotels online as broadly and as efficiently as possible,” said Richard North, CEO of Six Continents Hotels
. “WorldRes Europe has demonstrated its ability to establish a fully automated, low-cost, high-quality multibrand distribution outlet that is attractive to hotel suppliers, Internet retailers and consumers alike. These are the very qualities that Six Continents Hotels seeks when selecting distributors to sell our rates and inventory, and WorldRes Europe fits that bill perfectly.”

WorldRes has been a leading online hotel distribution network in Europe since it began operations there in 1997. The network powers top European travel Web sites and search engines, including Opodo, AOL UK, Lycos Europe, Virgin Airlines, Accommodation Search Engine (ASE), Freeserve and WorldRes` booking engine operates in seven languages including Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.


“Hilton International acknowledges the growth in the online travel market. Our investment in WorldRes will ensure that online travel in Europe remains competitive and offers the best value for our customers,” said David Michels, CEO of Hilton Group

WorldRes Europe is also working with other major European hotel companies, distributing their hotels through the same platform and network of Web sites on the same terms as Accor, Six Continents and Hilton International. Thousands of individual hotels throughout Europe are already selling through the same network, simply by accessing the WorldRes system.

“Online hotel bookings are the success story of e-commerce and Europe is the world`s largest hotel market - this joint investment in WorldRes Europe is a very important step for all of us,” said Wolfgang Kitza
, CEO of WorldRes. “We have been working with the world`s leading hotel companies for years. Through our links to their reservation systems and our joint investment in WorldRes Europe, we will continue to work closely together to further improve the technology and efficiency of online booking.”

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