As bookings in the United States have stalled for most online travel agencies, companies like Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline and others have found that their investments in foreign markets are paying off - especially in Europe, where their bookings jumped about 30 percent last year. Although doing business in foreign markets can be complicated, executives and analysts said these efforts can also be lucrative.

"International has become a huge part of the story for this group as a whole," said Jake Fuller, an analyst with Thomas Weisel Partners, an investment firm. "Bookings are growing faster, and they're a significant piece of the pie now."

Fuller forecast that overall bookings at Expedia, Travelocity and Priceline would rise by just 7 percent this year, to $33 billion, as airlines, hotels and car-rental companies work to attract consumers directly to their own Web sites. The U.S. e-commerce market has also reached a point where sales in certain categories are beginning to level off.

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