Expedia expands tieup with Air Asia

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 11 2012 07:46 AM | Updated as of Jul 11 2012 03:46 PM

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Philippines — Expedia Inc., the world’s largest online travel agent, is expanding its tie up with budget airline AirAsia Inc. by putting up a third localized site in the Philippines.

AirAsia Expedia chief executive officer Dan Lynn said in an interview with reporters that it has launched the Expedia.com.ph to offer a full service business helping travelers plan and book their travel online and providing a wide selection of 150,000 hotels and 400 airlines.

Over the past year, AirAsiaExpedia launched Expedia.com.sg and Expedia.com.th that is the number one online travel agency in Singapore and the emerging agency in Thailand.

Expedia currently has hotel-only sites operating in Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, and India.

Underpinned by the monumental growth of tourism in Asia, AirAsiaExpedia plans to launch Expedia sites in several Asian markets over the next nine months reinforcing its commitment and investment in the region.

Lynn said Expedia has decided to offer a full-service site in the Philippines given the immense potential of domestic and international travel.

He explained that the Expedia site would be localized to meet the needs of Filipino travelers and would offer the best holiday deals in the market.

“With our full service sites in Singapore and Thailand, we are already helping more people explore more destinations, and the investments we are now planning in the Philippines and Malaysia will bring Travel For All to even more people,” he said.

He explained that the world’s largest online travel agent sees an explosive growth in the number of travelers using online services in Southeast Asia with an average of 20 percent to 30 percent.

Right now, he said only 10 percent of the travelers in the Philippines book their flights and hotel accommodations online compared to Singapore’s 30 percent.

For her part, AirAsia head of commercial Kathleen Tan said the joint venture between AirAsia and Expedia would further revolutionize the online travel agency industry.

“Just as AirAsia is committed to grow the market in Asia, this joint venture also aims to focus and tap into the evolving travelers in Asia. Through this partnership with Expedia and our future plans to invest in the Philippine market, I am confident that AirAsiaExpedia will only further spur and grow the tourism industry,” Tan said.