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Wotif.com announces record growth in NZ

Wed, 6 Oct 2004

MEDIA RELEASE

Wotif.com announces record growth in NZ for 4th year Boom time for domestic tourism and online travel bookings

Auckland – 06 October 2004, Wotif.com ( www.wotif.com ), New Zealand’s leading last-minute accommodation website announces a record growth of 112% in accommodation bookings year-on-year (2003-2004) to celebrate its 4th year of trading in New Zealand. This growth contributes to the overall expansion of Wotif.com on an international level with booking volume increasing to 100,000+ per month.

Domestic Tourism

Attributing 50% of this year-on-year growth to purely domestic tourism, Wotif.com has recorded an 85% increase in room nights over the winter quarter alone. Leisure destinations such as Queenstown (95%), Rotorua (71%), Taupo (378%) and Hamilton (78%) experienced high growth with Auckland (44%), Christchurch (129%) and Wellington (97%) taking the lead as business travel destinations. Wotif.com’s increase in domestic tourism supports the findings released by the Tourism Research Council of New Zealand, forecasting domestic overnight trips to increase by 10% in the period 2004 to 2010 (TRCNZ – Tourism Leading Indicators Monitor Series: 2004/8).

Last-Minute Travel New Zealand Style

Wotif.com’s growth figures advocate that last-minute travel is no longer hype – but reality – and synonymous with travel. Users are now booking on average between 4-5 days before their trip, be it for leisure or business.

Growth Factors

Factors contributing to Wotif.com’s year-on-year growth have been a collaboration of many factors. Says Graeme Wood, CEO and Founder of Wotif.com: “The quick uptake of booking travel over the Internet has been the main reason for our growth in New Zealand. The Internet simplifies the booking travel process and lets customers compare prices and access competitive rates. Wotif.com fits in perfectly with this demand by offering a simple and convenient service that saves people time, and money, when booking accommodation. Another catalyst in our growth has been the low cost carriers increasing flights across the Trans Tasman. Travel has become more affordable and Wotif.com is the next click away for many internet-savvy travellers who have booked their flights.”

New Zealand Focus

The New Zealand market represents over 10% of Wotif.com’s booking volume, being the most important segment after Australia. Following the recent launch of the Asian office in July 2004, Wotif.com expects to see significant growth for New Zealand inbound bookings from the South East Asia region and its headquarters based in Australia.

With industry trends predicting continued growth in online hotel bookings, and New Zealand having one of the highest rates of Internet access in the world (The Digital Divide 2004, Statistics New Zealand) Wotif.com is expanding its product inventory in regional areas within New Zealand, and will be working closer with Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) in further promoting domestic tourism and maximising joint opportunities.

Says Tania Witheford, Wotif.com Manager of NZ: “We have over 570 properties in New Zealand supporting us in the niche market of last-minute accommodation. Our properties have experienced the increase in bookings and the phenomenal uptake of Internet usage in New Zealand to book travel. It’s easy, effortless and people not only save time, but money on the deals they find on websites such as Wotif.com. We will also focus on leveraging inbound business from Australia and other countries to New Zealand.”

About Wotif.com Founded in 2000, Wotif.com ( www.wotif.com ) is the global specialist in last-minute accommodation. Its easy-to-use website and booking engine offers travellers value for money, by selling vacant rooms at discounted rates in the next 14 days. Wotif.com’s portfolio includes over 6000 hotels, motels, serviced apartments, resorts, guesthouses and bed & breakfasts in 32 countries.

Wotif.com’s New Zealand office is located in Auckland and its properties can be booked online or through its call centre which operates a superior and personable customer service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from its Australian headquarters. International offices of Wotif.com are based in Canada, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

ENDS


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