Expedia buys Travelocity, Wotif staff move on

Expedia has acquired Travelocity from Sabre Corporation for $280 million in cash. Expedia already had controlled much of Travelocity for the past year, using its booking platform to power the site. Selling Travelocity was “a next logical step,” Sabre CEO Tom Klein said.

The two booking sites formed a marketing and technology partnership two years ago.

With the acquisition, Expedia assumes Travelocity’s branding and marketing in addition to the transactional part of the business it already was managing. Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi called Travelocity “one of the most recognised brands in North America.”

Expedia hasn’t spelled out what it will do with the Travelocity brand, but Expedia has maintained the brand identity of plenty of its divisions, including, Hotwire and Trivago.

Travelocity claims to serve about 20 million travellers a month; Expedia already runs, Hotwire and

In Europe, Switzerland-based Bravofly Rumbo has an agreement to acquire, sometimes referred to as Travelocity Europe, for USD 120 million. The deal should close in the next couple of months, subject to regulatory approvals.

Meanwhile in Australia Holdings chief executive Scott Blume and many other employees of the online travel agent will be leaving the company as new owner Expedia undertakes a major restructure of the Australian online travel group.

United States travel giant Expedia completed a $703 million takeover of Wotif in November and since then it has been reviewing its plans for the Australian company.

As of September, Wotif employed 620 people, including 170 technology staff in Sydney and Bangkok. A spokesman for Expedia declined to say how many employees would be leaving the business.

David Barnes, Wotif’s chief commercial officer, will take charge of Wotif, but he will report to Expedia Australia and New Zealand managing director Georg Ruebensal. Daniel Finch, who had previously headed the Asian business, will now lead the retail organisation for the Wotif and Lastminute brands in Australia and New Zealand.

Wotif was co-founded by Graeme Wood and Andrew Brice in 2000. Until last year, it was the largest online accommodation website in Australia.

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