WTM Vision: Business travel boosts Expedia

Business travel is one of Expedia’s biggest growth areas, according to the online travel agent’s UK boss.

Speaking at the WTM Vision Conference in London Andy Washington, Expedia’s managing director UK and Ireland, said managed business travel was under pressure due to the recession and that the OTA was benefitting from this.

He added that Nectar points are a huge driver for the site. “Many Pas collect the points for themselves,” he said.

On the same panel debate easyJet’s director UK market, Paul Simmons, said the no-frills carrier’s drive to widen its distribution has meant it now sells 90% of its flights on its website, down from 98% a few years ago.

 “We thought 98% was too extreme,” he said. 

He said the carrier is now on three GDSs and is working with corporates on a variety of levels, particularly through its news sales team.

“We have loosened the reins on distribution and are happily engaging with allowing agents to book flights,” he said.

Meanwhile, Washington added that 75% of Expedia’s mobile hotel content transactions is for bookings in the next 24-hours, which highlights the way that travellers are using apps to book their own stays while on the road.

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