14-Mar-2011 10:07 AM

Expedia calls for online travel fee cuts

Expedia Australia and New Zealand general manager Nicholas Chu called on Australian online travel booking companies to drop booking fees, after Expedia research showed Australians are far behind the US when it comes to booking holidays via the internet (AAP, 13-Mar-2011). Mr Chu stated Australia is one of the few countries in the world where booking fees are still a feature of the online travel market. Booking fees have been dropped in the US and “most countries in Europe”. Expedia.com cut booking fees 18 months ago in response to market demand, Mr Chu stated, and it was not the first in the US to drop the fees. Mr Chu said booking fees contributed only a small portion of revenue and the company has "been able to compensate for that with the increased volume". In Australia, online travel sites have captured about 20-30% of the market, compared with 50% in the US.

Expedia: "In the US, which is a much more mature online travel market, everyone is aware of fees, and I can tell you that no one wants to pay fees. Why would you pay an extra USD50 for nothing, while if you book directly with the carrier you won't have to pay the fee?" Nicholas Chu, general manager Australia and New Zealand. Source: AAP, 13-Mar-2011.

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