World's leading online travel company and leading North American cruise
franchise combine the power of their brands and extend presence to the
LAS VEGAS, Dec. 5 /CNW/ -- Expedia, Inc., the world's leading online
travel company, and CruiseShipCenters International, Inc., a leading North
American cruise vacation specialist, unveiled their new combined brand
Expedia(R) CruiseShipCenters(R) today at the Home-Based Travel Agent Expo and
Conference in Las Vegas.
The announcement included plans for expansion into the United States,
with the first co-branded Expedia CruiseShipCenters store opening at the
Crossroads Shopping Center in Bellevue, Wash. Additional franchise
opportunities will be available in Washington and Oregon, initially, in the
first quarter of 2008. Home-based agents in the U.S. who sign up as
independent contractors can begin selling Expedia CruiseShipCenters offerings
"Since Expedia first invested in CruiseShipCenters in March 2007, we have
recognized the benefit of leveraging the two brands to benefit our home based
agents, our Franchise Partners and our consumers," said Michael Drever,
president and CEO of CruiseShipCenters. "With the combined power of the
Expedia and CruiseShipCenters brands and backed with our propriety CruiseDesk
technology, our agents are better equipped to grow their business."
This alliance enables home-based agents to leverage the expertise and
leadership of the Expedia brand and further serve travelers by accessing the
breadth of Expedia non-cruise offerings. The new Expedia CruiseShipCenters
logo and supporting materials will be available to new and existing
franchisees and home-based agents in the first quarter of 2008. All of the
more than 100 retail locations and more than 1,500 cruise sales consultants
throughout North America are expected to integrate the new co-brand.
"As the world's leading online travel company, Expedia is pleased to
combine the power of our brand with the proven technology and leading service
offerings of CruiseShipCenters to create an alliance that franchisees and
home-based agents can leverage, and that travelers can trust," said Paul
Brown, president of Expedia North America and Expedia Partner Services Group.
Expedia announced a strategic investment in CruiseShipCenters in March
2007 in a move to broaden its exposure to offline distribution channels.
CruiseShipCenters has built a solid reputation as a market leader in North
America's cruise vacation industry, booking more than 20 percent of all
cruises sold in Canada. Twice receiving the Canadian Franchise Association's
Award of Excellence, the company delivers outstanding customer service and
value through its proprietary, industry-leading CruiseDesk(R) platform. A
one-of-a-kind application, the CruiseDesk system is a fully integrated
Enterprise Customer Relationship Management system incorporating booking,
back-office, marketing and other business management tools at the agent level.
About Expedia, Inc.
Expedia, Inc. is the world's leading online travel company, empowering
business and leisure travelers with the tools and information they need to
easily research, plan, book and experience travel. Expedia, Inc. also provides
wholesale travel to offline retail travel agents and in-destination concierge
service and activity desks for travelers. The Expedia, Inc. portfolio of
brands includes: Expedia.com(R), hotels.com(R), Hotwire(R), Expedia(R)
Corporate Travel, TripAdvisor(R), Expedia Local Expert(TM), Classic
Vacations(R) and eLong(TM). Expedia, Inc.'s companies operate more than 50
global points of sale with sites in North America, South America, Latin
America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Expedia, Inc. was
recently added to the S&P 500 index. For more information, visit
http://www.expediainc.com/ (Nasdaq: EXPE).
About Expedia CruiseShipCenters
Established in 1987, CruiseShipCenters International Inc. is one of North
America's leading cruise vacation specialists. Rebranded Expedia(R)
CruiseShipCenters(R) in 2007, the company delivers outstanding customer
service and value through its network of 100 retail locations, a team of 1,500
professionally-trained cruise consultants, and a searchable online database of
more than 10,000 cruise vacations. In 2006 and 2007, the company was the
winner of the Canadian Franchise Association's Award of Excellence which
recognizes the top franchise system in the country. For more information,
please visit http://www.cruiseshipcenters.ca.
Expedia and Expedia.com are either registered trademarks or trademarks of
Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Classic Vacations is either
a trademark or registered trademark of Classic Vacations, LLC in the U.S.
and/or other countries. hotels.com is either a trademark or registered
trademark of hotels.com, L.P., a subsidiary of hotels.com in the U.S. and/or
other countries. Hotwire is either a trademark or registered trademark of
Hotwire, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. TripAdvisor is either a
trademark or registered trademark of TripAdvisor, LLC in the U.S. and/or other
countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be
the property of their respective owners.
(C) 2007 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-40
For further information:
For further information: John Felice, Expedia CruiseShipCenters,
+1-604-678-3580, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Karmen Johnson of Expedia,
Inc., +1-425-679-4317, email@example.com Web Site: http://www.expedia.com