The push by Sydney based online travel agent HotelClub, owned by Orbitz Worldwide, into Asian markets has paid dividends with a 35% increase in room nights booked by people living in the region during 2013.
Orbitz CEO Barney Harford said Chinese consumers, travelling both domestically and international, are HotelClub’s primary regional focus, adding that Asian bookings now represent 25% of HotelClub’s room nights.
“As we’ve talked about before, HotelClub is our most geographically extensible brand, given the hotel-only nature of the business,” he said.
“We added 16 currencies to our global technology platform over the course of 2013, bringing our total to 35.
“Asia was the biggest beneficiary of this currency expansion and has been our focus area for growth.
“We are pleased with the results we’ve been seeing with room nights from Asia points of sale up 35% year-on-year and now representing over 25% of HotelClub room nights.
“We’re putting a particular focus within HotelClub on China and specifically, the development of a business focused on the rapidly growing China outbound market.
“We’ve launched HotelClub’s Chinese brand, and we’ve built out and launched Chinese payment method capabilities through our partnership with Alipay, the first between Alipay and a global hotel site.
“It’s still early days, but we’re excited by the growth opportunity, and we think the HotelClub loyalty membership and value proposition plays well with Chinese consumers.”