New Expedia boss seeks to extend global reach
Bellevue, Washington – 19 September 2017 –
Travel booking giant Expedia’s new chief executive officer Mark Okerstrom plans to extend the company’s global reach, Bloomberg reported.
It already has websites in more than 35 languages, makes at least 40 percent of its revenue outside the US and has offices in 30 different countries.
Okerstrom wants to make Expedia a household name for European and Asian travellers looking for hotels in their own regions. Historically, Expedia has gotten the bulk of its revenue from Americans using the site to book domestic and foreign travel.
“We have to do a better job being a global player — and not just global in terms of having more countries in our investor relations presentation,” Okerstrom. “We are significantly under-indexed in every major market with the exception of the US.”
Okerstrom called out Europe as a key market. “Europe is highly interesting to us,” he said. “We’ve got a huge opportunity to become much more locally relevant for the European customer.”
Expedia’s HomeAway unit is in a race with Airbnb and Priceline to capture as much of the fast-growing home rental market as possible. Right now Expedia is primarily focused on upgrading HomeAway’s technology and getting more of its properties on Expedia’s main booking sites. The next step is pushing into urban markets, where Airbnb has a sizeable lead, Okerstrom said.