Expedia recent global promotional push resulted in a surge in accommodation bookings in Japan and China, with booking increases of up to 30 per cent.

The four-week promotion that targeted travelers from its North American and European websites through May 2005 put a positive spring into the bookings of many hotels in both countries.

Expedia’s focused marketing campaign promoted both countries to its monthly audience of nearly 30 million users across the USA, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The promotion resulted in healthy increases in bookings to markets such as Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, delighting hoteliers.

According to Cameron Jones, Director of Hotels and Destination Services at Expedia Asia Pacific, these results demonstrate how Expedia has the reach and ability to deliver significant increases in bookings in shoulder season periods to its hotel and in-destination activity providers.

“While it’s a fact we have nearly twice as many users coming to our worldwide sites as our closest competitor, it’s the quality and commitment we have to proactively merchandise and market hotel properties through Expedia’s global travel marketplace and provide ongoing marketing and revenue advice that boosts hoteliers’ profits,” he said.

At the stylish four-star Kyoto Brighton Hotel, Mr. Ken Fujimoto, Assistant Director of Room Sales & Reservations, reported an increase in bookings and room revenue, reaching a massive international audience without any cost to the hotel.

“Our relationship with Expedia.com® is still quite new, but we have seen an overall increase not only in the bookings, but also in the room revenue through Expedia.com. The promotion that Expedia.com undertook for us was a great chance to allow us to brand our name in the international market. This is the first time that the Kyoto Brighton Hotel has been able to take part in such a large-scale promotion at no cost to the hotel. The management of the hotel is very satisfied overall with not only the production, but also the way in which Expedia.com markets our product,” he said.

Many of the independent hotels also reported they were very pleased at being able to compete for an international market on the same playing field as larger chains.

Anita Chan, General Manager at the brand new 455 room Hotel Cosmopolitan in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay, said, “The promotion generated tremendous exposure and consumer interest in the USA, which is especially important for us as an independent hotel property. During the promotion period, our business with Expedia increased by an average of more than 30 percent compared to the booking period immediately prior to launch, and, more importantly, participation in the promotion helped us to capture additional market share in Hong Kong.

“We noticed a strong spike in bookings particularly for the month of July, when bookings would traditionally come in much closer to the arrival date. This is crucial for us as it helps our forecasting and creates a much needed base, which in return allows us to maximize revenues during a traditionally slow period.”

Expedia will continue to strongly promote its hotel and destination service providers in the Asia Pacific region, and hoteliers can look forward to more global marketing activity for the region in the near future.