On Global Expansion
- 19 Expedia branded sites worldwide. Currently two thirds of revenue is in the US, one third international. Want this to be fifty:fifty in five years;
- Need to do a lot of transation. Plan to translate 500 million words in 2009; and
- 10% of revenue is Advertising based. Is growing faster than merchant/retailer business but do not expect it to take over from merchant/retailer business as the main reevenue source for the company.
- Launched Expedia Travel Ad - a way to hotels to bid for sort order placement (think Google ad words). Note as per earlier post Hotel.de have been doing this in Germany for a while; and
- Have 400 Market Managers (hotel) world-wide that are working to get hotels to recognise that deals are needed but saw potential for those deals to come from the Travel Ad bidding, additional loyalty points, add ons etc to maintain price.
- On Acquistions: When asked directly about who he would buy next Dara said - "we are going to keep our money stuffed in our mattress". Later "we don't think we will go on the acquisition trail in 2009". He went on to explain that with the state of the capital markets and the difficulties in access public capital sources (including debt) he wanted to keep his cash on hand to get through the next five years; and
- On Going Private: Simply - there is no capital available for anyone to take Expedia private.
- Will keep the demand portions un-integrated (ie Venere brand remains). But supply side will be integrated. In other words will see Venere inventory (negotiated retail inventory) on Hotels.com and Expedia.com in a mixed model.