Expedia.com, Home of the Immediate Upgrade: As Hotels Seek to Fill Empty Rooms, Travelers Can Trade Up With New Offering

Expedia.com now offering Unpublished Rate inventory from 25,000 hotels worldwide at up to 50% off standard prices; leverages Hotwire for supply

Oct 25, 2010, 12:41 ET from Expedia, Inc.

BELLEVUE, Wash., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Expedia.com®, the world's leading online travel agency, announced today that it is offering "Unpublished Rates" for hotel reservations. These rates are up to 50% off of the lowest prices typically available online. At launch, Expedia customers will have access to more than 25,000 hotels worldwide – one of the biggest selections of this type of inventory. Consumers who have long used Expedia to get the best rates on retail hotels can now book Unpublished Rate hotels and "trade up" to a higher star property and pay well below the retail rate. At the same time, participating hotels can now capture customers who might not have otherwise booked their property.

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Unpublished Rates on Expedia.com offer superb value to customers and hoteliers alike. Travelers who have flexibility in their hotel accommodations now have access to hotel rooms at deeply discounted prices, without the hassle of bidding, or the fear that they may have paid too much. And in many cases, travelers are using these discounts to upgrade the star rating of the hotel they select. To take advantage of these deals, travelers just book the discounted rate up front and then learn the hotel name after they have booked the room. This represents a win for hoteliers as well. In the first half of 2010, on average, nearly half the hotel rooms on any given night were vacant, according to Smith Travel Research. Not only can they fill up rooms that would have otherwise gone unsold, but they can also effectively manage their revenue.

This new offering is the result of collaboration between two Expedia, Inc. brands. Expedia's Unpublished Rate inventory will be sourced from Hotwire, which will also manage the display, pricing and back-end booking with the hotel. Expedia customers can sort Unpublished Rate hotels by travel dates, star rating and location.

"Rather than pocket the savings on similar properties, we're seeing our Unpublished Rate customers trade up instead," said Tim MacDonald, senior vice president and general manager, Expedia.com. "They're booking at the same prices they normally would, but are 'jumping' as much as two star ratings without paying a penny more. Meanwhile, participating hotels, in addition to filling unsold rooms, are also getting a chance to win over a customer they might not have otherwise received."

"Hotwire has been building up its industry-leading unpublished rate offering for more than 10 years now," said Clem Bason, president of The Hotwire Group. "We're incredibly excited to bring these deals to the nearly two million customers who shop on Expedia.com each day, many of whom may not have considered booking a hotel this way."

The Unpublished Rate hotel inventory available on Expedia.com covers thousands of cities across the US, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific. The potential savings are significant. Under Expedia's Unpublished Rates program, recent travelers have booked:

  • A 4-star hotel in Manhattan right off Central Park West for $206 per night, which is 33% off the retail rate.
  • A 4-star hotel in downtown Chicago for $142 per night, which is 46% off the regular retail price.
  • A 4-star room right near the Gateway Arch in Downtown St. Louis for $80 per night, about 50% off the retail price.
  • A 3.5-star hotel in Boston's Back Bay for $158 per night, providing savings of 57% off the retail rate.
  • A 4-star hotel near the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport for $81 per night, resulting in savings of 60% off the regular retail price.
  • A 4-star hotel in the International Drive area of Orlando for only $103 per night, providing savings of 50% off the retail rate.
  • A 3.5-star hotel near the Dulles Airport outside of Washington, DC for only $104 per night, which is 63% off the regular retail price.

*The above prices were booked by actual customers during October of this year. Savings is calculated by comparing the Unpublished Rate with the retail rate of the same room type at the same hotel on the same day.

About Expedia.com

Expedia.com is the world's leading online travel site, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia.com (http://www.expedia.com/, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims to provide personalized service, the latest technology and the widest selection of vacation packages, flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises and in-destination activities, attractions, and services. With the Expedia Best Price Guarantee, Expedia.com promises to offer to its customers the best rates available online for all types of travel. Expedia.com is an operating company of Expedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE).

Expedia and Expedia.com are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.© 2010 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-40

About Hotwire

Hotwire.com is a leading discount travel site with low rates on airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Launched in 2000, Hotwire negotiates deep discounts from its travel suppliers to help travelers book unsold airline seats, hotel rooms and rental cars. J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Independent Travel Web Site Satisfaction Study(SM) recognized Hotwire for ranking "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Independent Travel Web Sites, Three Years in a Row." Hotwire is an operating company of Expedia, Inc. CST# 2053390-40. NST: 20003-0209. For more information, visit http://www.hotwire.com/.

Hotwire, Hotwire.com and the Hotwire logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Hotwire, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners. © 2010 Hotwire, Inc. All rights reserved. CST# 2053390-40.


SOURCE Expedia, Inc.