Travel News: Priceline.com Inc (PCLN)’s Bookings, Tripadvisor Inc (TRIP) Apps & Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (OWW)’s CEO

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Editor’s Note: Related Tickers: Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN), Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP), Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:OWW), Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE), Travelzoo Inc. (NASDAQ:TZOO)

Priceline tops estimates as bookings, sales rise (MarketWatch)
Hedge Fund Billionaires Are Hoarding These 5 StocksPriceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) on Thursday reported first-quarter earnings that rose 34% from a year ago as the online travel agency continued to see gains in areas such as total bookings and sales of hotel-room nights. Those results topped the estimates of analysts surveyed by FactSet, who had forecast Priceline to earn $5.27 a share on $1.27 billion in revenue. Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) said that its total booking for all products rose 36.4%, to $9.2 billion, while hotel-room nights sold reached 63.2 million rooms, an increase of almost 38% from the same period a year ago.

TripAdvisor’s Apps Are Building Traffic And Revenue (Investor’s Business Daily)
At Newton, Mass.-based Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP), users downloaded 45 million apps monthly during the quarter ended in December, a 190% jump from the prior year. Its apps include TripAdvisor, replete with millions of reviews of hotels and eateries, City Guide, describing 82 global destinations, and SeatGuru, which offers color-coded seating maps for plane flights. Apps are playing a pivotal role in a company’s marketing. Nonetheless, heavy-handed selling via apps irks consumers and can backfire. At Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP), its website and social media are now intertwined. When consumers log on to it on Facebook (FB), it lists all of the subscriber’s Facebook friends that use TripAdvisor. So consumers traveling to Paris or London can check with friends for advice on overseas hotels or restaurants.

HotelClub Making Progress on “Turnaround” Says Harford (Travel Trends)
Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:OWW) CEO Barney Harford said his company is seeing better results from HotelClub, its under-performing Asia Pacific accommodation website. “We’re feeling great about the progress of the HotelClub turnaround and are seeing promising growth,” he said. HotelClub has been struggling for a number of years and had its value written down by $US50 million to zero in the 2011 Orbitz full year results. It runs three websites: HotelClub.com, RatesToGo.com and AsiaHotels.com. Meanwhile, Michael O. Randolfi, Chief Financial Officer at Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:OWW), said in the first quarter “net revenue grew 7% year-over-year to UIS$202.9 million and adjusted EBITDA came in at $21.6 million, up 5% from the first quarter last year.”

Vacations boost pleasure, Expedia study finds (Travel Daily News International)
Expedia.com released the results of an online survey conducted on their behalf by Harris Interactive, which was designed to examine the link between vacations and happiness. The Expedia Pleasure Index found that consumers link their personal happiness to vacations. 86% of Americans pair the two, and those who vacation three or more times per year are more likely to do so than those who travel two or fewer times. While unsurprising that vacations bring happiness, what is surprising are the institutions that vacations surpass. Americans report that vacations make them happier than their marriages, their religions, weddings, birthdays and even their cats. Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) has formally launched its 2013 Summer Sale to help consumers find the happiness they crave.

Antitrust review of Kayak deal is done, says Priceline (Travel Weekly)
Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) set a May 21 closing date for the Kayak buyout after reporting that antitrust reviews have been completed. Priceline in March said its $1.8 billion acquisition of the travel metasearch leader would be delayed by a review from U.K. antitrust regulators. Priceline announced the acquisition last November, and initially set a first-quarter deadline. Last year, 82% of Priceline.com Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN)’s gross sales were booked outside of the U.S., likely triggering the review from the U.K. Office of Fair Trading.

Travelzoo’s user base can balloon (MSN Money)
With rapid changes in global technology, it is important for online travel companies to stay in line with changing consumer preferences. Leveraging the rising mobile user base and growth in social platforms is one of the key strategy for Travelzoo Inc. (NASDAQ:TZOO)’s long term growth. The company has remained committed to investing in new product development which has helped…

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