By Martin Kelly, Editor, Travel Trends

WOTIF sold almost five million room nights last financial year and now claims to have 41% of Australia’s total online accommodation market following its acquisition of travel.com.au and lastminute.

It was another good 12 months for the company, which also bought Asia Web Direct, and improved net profit by 30% to $34.45m.

Signs of the management challenges it faces were revealed in its annual report that showed a doubling of staff numbers (from 184 employees to 402) in three main locations rather than just the Brisbane HQ.

Web maintenance costs ($4.7m) also doubled as did advertising and marketing expenses – $9.9m, up from $4.43m the year before.

While that might sound like a lot, it’s very low by online travel industry standards, translating to 10% of revenue.

In the US, Expedia spends around 37% of revenue on marketing while closer to home the figure for Webjet is close to 24%.

Looking ahead, Wotif believes the good times for its business should despite economic uncertainty as more people migrate to the web.

Travel Trends: September 4, 2008

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