A brand new concept in the travel industry is to be launched early next year by
Web Reservations International.
Since being launched in 1999, WRI, whose headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, handle online reservations for 44,000 properties around the world, from five-star hotels (such as the Intercontinental and Marriott group) to hostels. The company also deals indirectly through more than 3000 online travel portals, tourist boards, destination management companies.
According to media reports, the new search engine will combine travel information with social networking, as well as offer up to one million reviews of destinations and accommodation accross the globe.
Ray Nolan, the chief executive of WRI explains:
“The site will be a further boost to the profile and finances of WRI, which has built a hugely profitable business from handling online bookings for almost 50,000 hostels and hotels. The company made a pre-tax profit of €12.5 million last year as turnover rose by 79 per cent to €28.5 million. The turnover figure includes €6.75 million from the acquisition of US firm WorldRes in March last year
Because most online travel companies have commission deals with certain hotels, travellers never get a full listing of all hotels and those they do get may not be the cheapest, or might not even be available. WRI plans to solve that problem with a new service that lists every single accommodation provider in the world and allows travellers to quickly find and book their holiday. It will have up to one million reviews of destinations and accommodation, allowing people to get a personal opinion before booking their holiday.”
According to Nolan, the unique service is best described as:
‘‘the best of Google, the best of travel brands and the best of social networking’’