BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON Expedia Inc. is launching its opaque discount online travel agency site Hotwire.com in the United Kingdom.
Hotwire, which has been operating in the United States for a decade, is debuting in the UK as the first leg of a global expansion push.
Hotwire operates under an opaque format in which a hotel’s star rating, amenities and general location are revealed prior to booking, but the actual identity of the hotel is not provided until after the nonrefundable reservation is confirmed. Hotwire is expected to compete against established UK discount OTAs LastMinute.com and LateRooms.com.
Although Hotwire sells airfare and car rentals on its U.S. site, it will launch in the UK exclusively as a hotel-booking portal. Cars and air may be added at a later time.
“We are proud to announce the launch of Hotwire in the UK, bringing British customers the best hotel deals from some of the most trusted hotel brands in the world,” says Hotwire President Clem Bason. “Customers are looking for new ways to save when booking a holiday or short break. At Hotwire, that’s what we do. We work hard every day to bring unsold rooms to consumers at deeply discounted prices, ensuring that customers continue to have great travel experiences—they just pay less for them.”