Expedia and Jumeirah sign web agreement

Expedia, one of the world's biggest online travel companies, has signed a long-term agreement with Jumeirah Group.

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Expedia, one of the world's biggest online travel companies, has signed a long-term global agreement with Jumeirah Group, the hospitality management company based in Dubai that runs the Burj Al Arab and other hotels. "We have ambitious expansion plans to grow our global portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts with new projects underway in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Aqaba, Doha, Phuket, Shanghai, Mallorca, London, Argentina and elsewhere around the world," said Apo Demirtas, the chief sales and marketing officer of Jumeirah. "Expedia is an ideal partner to help us reach millions of travellers worldwide and enhance our global distribution strategy." Realising the growing trend towards online reservations was a key reason behind the Jumeirah Group decision to sign their first online marketing agreement. "Building our brand's awareness and distribution capabilities through organisations like Expedia will support our continued growth with access to millions of travellers around the world," said Mr Demirtas. A recent study by Mintel, a market research company based in the UK, found that almost 40 per cent of holidaying British tourists - which represent the largest segment of tourists travelling to the UAE - now book their travel independently via websites, a figure that has doubled in the past five years. The agreement provides Jumeirah with access to Expedia's global marketplace and the expertise of its online travel marketing and distribution, along with merchandising opportunities to reach travellers throughout Europe, Asia and North America. In turn, Expedia customers can book at Jumeirah hotels and resorts worldwide, including the Jumeirah Essex House in New York, and the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. "This partnership is strategic to both Jumeirah and Expedia, as we continue to expand our global footprints, respectively," said Murad Hajeebhoy, the vice president of market management at Expedia. Under the agreement, Jumeirah properties will be available at Expedia.com and hotels.com and guests booking online will not have to pay any extra charge while booking via the website. @Email:abakr@thenational.ae