Company: Expedia, Bellevue, WA
Company Description: Expedia, Inc. is the world’s leading online travel company. Expedia, Inc.’s main businesses include Expedia.com®, hotels.com®, Hotwire®, Expedia® Corporate Travel, TripAdvisor™ and Classic Vacations®, as well as sites serving Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia and China.
Nomination Category: Company, Office & Product Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Most Innovative Company
Nomination Title: Expedia: Driving the Next Wave in Travel
1. Tell the story about what this nominated company achieved in the past year (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
Expedia pioneered online travel and has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to innovation over the last ten years. We are reinventing the way people plan and purchase travel yet again, doing so by aligning our internal, customer-facing and partner-facing efforts. The marketplace Expedia built was originally one of the relatively few places to buy travel online at all, and it's always been one of the best and easiest to use, in no small part due to the technology powering it. While Expedia has grown to become the leading online travel site in the world, we are taking
Our "Excellence in Retail" strategyA top initiative for Expedia is our transition from a being a marketplace to becoming a retailer of travel experiences. We are creating a superior shopping experience and delivering the world’s best selection of travel products in a way the travel industry hasn’t previously seen. In 2005, Expedia.com launched a full site redesign that demonstrates the next generation of online travel – the retail-style presentation of travel options and inspiration rather than sending customers through a rigid purchase path.
Another example of innovation on the retail front is our launch of Experiences by Expedia, a retailing concept in which consumers are offered vacation packages that are merchandised as a full vacation experience. We’re also creating customer-driven features that are revolutionizing online travel, such as our Best Price Guarantee – the farthest reaching price guarantee in online travel, and our Personal Trip Guide, which provides the personal touch of an offline travel agent with the convenience and choice of the online channel. .Partner Services Group – a new model in online travelThe Expedia Partner Services Group consolidates all of Expedia’s supply expertise into one strategic group to heighten our ability to serve our supply partners and simplify the way they interact with Expedia, Inc., and its diverse distribution channels. We were the first in online travel to centralize our supply group in one global organization, and our partners have responded so positively. The Partner Services Group offers a broad range of services, including the company's direct-connect technology and marketing and promotional programs for our suppliers. We are here to help our partners meet their objectives, while simultaneously delivering the best possible travel experience to our customers.
Building a culture of performance and innovationContinuing to build a culture of performance and innovation is one of Expedia’s top strategic initiatives. It embodies the alignment of Expedia’s disparate businesses and processes to create a much more effective, unified entity. Our initiatives all feed a single, overarching goal: to redefine how people plan and purchase travel ... again.
2. List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:
Expedia Kicks Off Industry-Leading Branding Campaign With Three Consumer-Centric Initiatives, Including Best Price Guarantee and Personal Trip Guide for Travelers
Expedia.com®, the world's leading online travel site, is embarking on a groundbreaking initiative that sets a new industry standard for empowering consumers in booking travel. The effort builds on Expedia's extensive service offerings, original content and technology to deliver tremendous value to consumers on top of the company's transactional abilities for booking airfare, hotels or other trip components. To help launch the program, Expedia is introducing three customer-centric product initiatives: a Best Price Guarantee; Your Personal Trip Guide, which brings Expedia's extensive travel data and information directly to bear on designing customers' personal travel itineraries; and the Expedia Promise, which outlines the company's commitment to stand behind its customers through the entire travel experience.
Expedia boosts online travel competitionUSA TODAY, 01/16/2006
Expedia is turning up the heat in a battle with Travelocity, Orbitz and other online travel sellers with what it says is the industry's first comprehensive price guarantee offer. If a customer finds a lower price online for the same travel service -- a flight, hotel stay, car rental, vacation package, cruise or destination activity or service -- within 24 hours of booking via Expedia.com, the No. 1 online travel seller will refund the difference and give a $50 coupon for future travel.
Expedia to Offer Price GuaranteeWashington Post, 01/18/2006Expedia Inc., the largest U.S. online travel agency, will offer price guarantees and other new services on its Web site as its user growth trails some airline and hotel companies. The program will reimburse the price difference to users who find lower costs online for travel expenses within 24 hours of making a purchase on Expedia.com.
Travel Watch: Price guarantees for online bookingsWall Street Journal, 01/24/2006By Avery Johnson and Christina S.N. Lewis... Two online travel bookers have added best-price guarantees to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. Expedia.com now guarantees all of its prices within 24 hours of booking. If a customer finds a ticket, package or service for less money elsewhere, Expedia.com will reimburse the difference and give the traveler a $50 travel credit ...
Expedia Pulls Ahead of the Pack in Online Travel
Expedia.com®, the world's leading online travel site, today announced it has the highest customer satisfaction rating among online travel providers according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Commerce Report. Expedia also recorded the greatest score increase in the online travel category.
Expedia, Inc. Announces Executive Appointments and Formation of Partner Services Group
Expedia, Inc. and United Nations Foundation Announce World Heritage Partnership
Expedia sets off to heritage sites
Financial Times, 11/18/2005
By Amy Yee
Expedia, the world's largest online travel agency, yesterday announced a partnership with the United Nations Foundation to promote travel to World Heritage sites such as the Taj Mahal, Egypt's pyramids and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The move is part of Expedia's strategy to raise its international profile, provide more customised services and offer original content. It follows a larger trend in online travel for websites to become comprehensive travel resources rather than just booking engines. "Expedia has evolved from a seller of air tickets and hotels to a seller of travel experiences," said Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive. Of 812 World Heritage sites administered by Unesco, Expedia has holiday packages to 11 destinations including Machu Picchu in Peru, Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Expedia plans to add other sites after gaining official approval.
Consumers can find information, photos and maps of the destinations, then book packages with Expedia or with partner tour operators. Profits from the World Heritage trips booked on Expedia will be donated to Friends of World Heritage - a charity organisation connected to Unesco - for investment in local community projects at World Heritage sites...
Associated Press, 11/21/2005
Trips to Yosemite, Angkor Wat, Machu Picchu and eight other World Heritage areas are being jointly promoted by Expedia.com and the United Nations Foundation. Proceeds from the effort will go towards fostering locally run tourism enterprises at lesser-known World Heritage sites. The first site to benefit from the program will be Sian Ka'an, Mexico, a pristine natural area on the eastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula …
A Blog That Wall St. Can Call Its OwnBusman’s HolidayNew York Times, 11/27/2005
Although he is chief executive of Expedia, the big online travel company, Dara Khosrowshahi doesn't travel for fun as much as he would like. He has been too busy running the company, which IAC/Inter-ActiveCorp spun off in August."Becoming an independent company is a busy time, and the focus for us has been getting a senior management team together," said Mr. Khosrowshahi, who was in New York recently to announce a program with the United Nations Foundation to promote sustainable tourism at World Heritage sites. "I've got a team now that's great, and once the team starts to gel, they're not going to need me."When that happens, which World Heritage site would he like to visit? The Taj Mahal, said Mr. Khosrowshahi, who was born in Iran: "I've heard it's spectacular."
Features and Developments:
3. Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader of this nominated company:
Dara Khosrowshahi is CEO of Expedia, Inc., the world’s leading online travel company. Prior to his current role, Khosrowshahi served as acting CEO of thetravel portfolio within Expedia’s former parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC).
Previously, Khosrowshahi served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of IAC since January 2002. In this capacity, he oversaw all financial matters for IAC, served in IAC's Office of the Chairman and was directly involved in the expansion of IAC's travel portfolio through various acquisitions.
Khosrowshahi was IAC's executive vice president of operations and strategic planning from July 2000 to January 2002. From August 1999 to July 2000, Khosrowshahi served as president of USA Networks Interactive, a division of IAC, a role in which he oversaw management, operations and strategic planning of the company’s interactive services division.
Khosrowshahi joined IAC (then USA Networks) in 1998 as vice president of strategic planning. He was promoted to senior vice president in May 1999. Prior to joining IAC, Khosrowshahi served as vice president at Allen & Company LLC.
Khosrowshahi holds a bachelor of arts in engineering from Brown University.