Expedia’s “Deals” Section Benefits Both Travel Suppliers and Consumers

Expedia’s “Deals” Section Benefits Both Travel Suppliers and Consumers
This article is part of a series of stories about how Microsoft is bringing consumers and partners together through the power of the Internet.

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 11, 1999 – The increasing popularity of online shopping has prompted numerous travel suppliers to get on the Internet. At the same time, with the vast number of sites popping up online, consumers are finding it hard to figure out where to turn to find the best vacation deals. MSN Expedia has come up with the ideal solution with its new “Deals” collection, an area of the Expedia Web site that highlights vendors’ top travel offers.

One company has already benefited from it. Like most companies, Uniglobe Travel Online (UTO) wanted to find the best way to reach consumers while driving traffic to its Web site and increasing sales. It seems to have found the right mix with MSN Expedia. Through MSN Expedia, Uniglobe can feature its cruise products in both the Deals collection and the area of the site that highlights cruises. With more than 3.5 million visitors each month, MSN Expedia has had a significant effect on Uniglobe’s business.

Michael Dauberman, Uniglobe’s senior vice president of operations, says the company’s online traffic has increased by 400 percent since joining MSN Expedia. “Since late October, traffic to our site has grown beyond half a million visitors per month,” Dauberman said. Most important, the number of inquiries for cruise product is up fourfold, which we believe will translate into enhanced sales numbers in early 1999.”

Since January 1998, MSN Expedia has generated more than $8 million in revenue for participating companies.

Consumers are also winners in this equation. They can use Expedia to browse through vacation packages, cruise offerings, resort listings and other travel services offered by more than 30 different vendors. Or they can go to the Deals section of Expedia, which makes it easy for consumers to view and compare different travel options by providing offerings from various vendors all in one place. The offers can also be sorted by vacation type, cost, destination and purchase date for easy browsing.

MSN Expedia’s Simon Breakwell said the goal of the Deals collection is to bring together consumers and travel suppliers in a way that benefits both. “The bottom line for MSN Expedia is that our customers and travel suppliers are getting what they’ve told us they need: ease of use and great deals for customers, and increased exposure and more effective distribution for travel suppliers.”

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