SideStep announced its launch in Ireland & the UK, marking one of the first travel search engines to accommodate the online travel market.

SideStep searches more than 100 travel sites for the best deals for both Ireland-based travellers and international travellers whilst touring within Ireland and the UK. It created the travel search category in 2000 and today kicks off its international expansion in Ireland as well as the UK.

Founded in Californias Silicon Valley, it created US $1 billion in transactions for its travel provider partners in 2005 and earned a leadership position in the US travel search engine market.

As a search engine, it scans a broader network of sources for travel bargains, including online agencies, consolidators, low cost carriers like EasyJet, major airlines such as Aer Lingus, hoteliers and rental car companies like Argus Car Rental & Enterprise Rent A Car.

It doesnt sell travel itself but transfers consumers to the sites on which it finds the deals it displays. Travellers then buy directly from names they know and trust. By searching scores of sites at once, SideStep can consistently offer the best deal.

"SideStep introduced an innovative, new approach to online travel in the US with tremendous success and we are thrilled to be the first American online travel search provider to establish a presence in Ireland, delivering similar, extensive benefits to both consumers and travel providers alike," said SideStep Executive, Russ Lemelin. We've proven this model in the U.S. and are confident of its value to Irish travellers. We see tremendous opportunity internationally and our move into the UK & Ireland market is the next logical step for SideStep. We look forward to building a substantial business here."

"While consumers rave about SideStep's ability to deliver flight, hotel and car hire discounts, travel providers value it as an efficient, effective marketing partner. Marketing via SideStep not only enables these companies to reach highly qualified prospects, it is also less expensive than alternative marketing vehicles both online and off."

With significant growth projected in the UK & Ireland market this year, SideStep expands into Europe at an auspicious time.

Research firm PhoCusWright projects that the European online travel market will grow from EUR28.6 billion in 2005 to EUR41.6 billion euros in 2006. The Ireland & the UK represent approximately 35 percent of this market. SideStep, with its distinctive search-based approach to online travel, is poised to improve the way travel is secured in Ireland and ultimately drive significant change in the European online travel sector.