Escapia appoints VacationSpot.com founder and former Expedia executive Steve Murch as chairman.Murch co-founded online vacation rental network VacationSpot.com in 1997 which was purchased by Expedia in 2000.
At Expedia, he led the team that created the first dynamic travel packaging service on the web, which today generates more than $2B in annual gross bookings.
“Steve joins Escapia at a very exciting time in our business,” said Chris C. Kemp, president and CEO of Escapia.
“Today, over 15,000 vacation homes in over 50 destinations worldwide are managed on Escapia’s platform. We have enabled over $200M in reservations since our launch and have significantly increased revenue for our customers through our internet marketing platform. We are on the forefront of a huge industry transition to hosted on-demand, web-based systems and services and adding Steve Murch to help drive Escapia’s vision is a huge win for our company and our customers.”
“I am truly excited to be a part of the Escapia team,” said Murch.
“The company is uniquely positioned to be the dominant player in the vacation rental market. Consumers spend nearly $25 billion annually in reserving vacation homes, yet a decade after the initial internet boom, it’s still remarkably difficult to find and book the property you want. Most professional vacation rental managers don’t have the resources or the technology to leverage the internet to gain broader distribution and increase revenue. Escapia is changing that.”
Prior to VacationSpot.com, as an executive at Microsoft, Mr. Murch conceived and managed its online gaming strategy, and created the Internet Gaming Zone (now the MSN Gaming Zone), which led to the development of Xbox Live. He was also instrumental in Microsoft’s development and launch of Microsoft Access and FoxPro.
Murch holds a BS in business and computer science from Carnegie Mellon University, an MS in Computer Science from Stanford University, and an MBA from Harvard University, where he graduated a Baker Scholar.