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Wotif Group Focuses on Thailand as Key Growth Market

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The Wotif Group saw room nights sold in Asia increase by 20% to over 587,000 for the first half of its financial year (July to December 2009). The group has also announced that it is focused on developing Thailand as a key growth market.

 Robbie Cooke, Managing Director and Group CEO of Wotif Group, said, Thailand is consistently popular with tourists across the world, and the last 6 months has seen the trend continue through our Wotif.com and AsiaWebDirect.com accommodation sites. Despite political unrest, we historically have seen bookings for Thailand bounce back quickly through our websites, as travellers succumb to the appeal of its beaches, mountains, cultural experiences and luxury hotels for value prices. We have seen only a few cancellations from travellers following the recent events, and expect that while tourism may dip in the short term, overall we will see a good year if the situation stabilises.

Thailand was Wotif.coms most popular Asian region to visit for 2008 and 2009, based on bookings. Bangkok was also one of Wotif.coms top five Asian destinations in 2008 and 2009, together with Singapore, Hong Kong, Bali and Kuala Lumpur.

Robbie added, We are working to further strengthen our presence in Thailand. Today we have a total of 190 local staff, and we are looking to expand our product team to strengthen our network of suppliers and our IT team to innovate new functionalities for a better customer experience such as relaunching our Asia-travel focussed brand AsiaWebDirect.com.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), air travel in the Asia Pacific region surpassed North America for the first time in 2009, numbering 647 million compared to the 638 million who had travelled within North America. By 2013, IATA predicts an additional 217 million travellers both business and leisure will fly within Asia Pacific.

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