Travelweb.com

Site Features:
Special rate hotel rooms, airline tickets, rental cars, and vacation packages provided by owner priceline.com.

Site Report:
Travelweb.com was one of the earliest travel websites on the Internet.
In 1994, TravelWeb.com, the first online Web site for real-time hotel reservations, was launched to the online public. The site’s black background with day-glo colors and iconic genie figure, quickly became a travel destination for the earliest travelers on the Net. Pegasus, an online hotel technology player, built the site to illustrate their capabilities as a hotel booking platform.

The domain was picked up in the earliest Yahoo directory, and was packaged as a travel bookmark in Netscape 1.0. Mostly, the site was an advertising vehicle in the burgeoning Doubleclick Travel Ad channel. It had impressive visitor numbers, but not much else.

However, after the success of the airline consortium site Orbitz, the hotel chains decided to take a similar tack. In 2000, Pegasus joined a company then known as HDS or Hotel Distribution Solution. They contributed their booking technology and the well trafficked domain Travelweb. The other owners of this site included five of the nation’s largest hotel chains – Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott and Starwood. Each of these companies ponied up several million dollars to build the new company.

The new Travelweb.com site launched in early 2002. Simultaneously, the company provided their rates and inventory to Orbitz.com and a host of other affiliate sites. Although the company grew quickly, it was forced to look for additional funding fairly quickly. Since the public markets had become less than favorable, the company ended up selling out to priceline.com, who was looking for a retail hotel partner.

Today, Travelweb offers specially negotiated, published-price rates for more than 13,000 hotel properties (including its founding partners) in the U.S., Europe, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. This is one of the largest net rate inventories assembled on the Net currently, though Travelocity is catching up.

The Travelweb.com Web site also offers a full lineup of airline tickets, rental cars and vacation packages through links to priceline.com. The travelweb.com site recently relaunched as the priceline site added their merchant rates to the front end of their website. Online customers should note that you can find the same inventory at priceline hotels as you can at travelweb. Because you’re going to be serviced by the same company, the travelsites team recommends simply using the priceline site.

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Travel site name: Travelweb.com