OFT Clears Web Reservations International / HostelBookers.com Limited Merger
As you are aware, Web Reservations International, which operates the award winning websites hostelworld.com, hostels.com and bedandbreakfastworld.com, in April this year announced its intention to merge with HostelBookers.com Limited, which operates the hostelbookers.com and anytrip.com websites. We believe this to be good news for all participants in the budget accommodation sector, whether a hostel, budget hotel, B&B or apartment, as the merger will create a more effective and smarter partner for your business.
Throughout the process we promised to update you on progress, particularly in relation to the regulatory clearance process required to complete the deal. This has now proceeded to the stage at which the UK’s Office of Fair Trading has confirmed that the merger has been cleared and can now move to completion, which should take place by the middle of August.
I express my gratitude to the many of you who were contacted by the OFT and responded to its questions.
As we have already said, and as your responses have overwhelmingly confirmed, this is an exciting development for property owners, for two key reasons:-
Firstly, it will help us improve our service to you and drive increased occupancy of your properties.
We will continue to invest in the individual website brands and the enhanced resources of the combined businesses will also allow us to:
Inject more resources into marketing and services attracting more consumers to the websites and to your properties
Increase investment in technology platforms to improve the efficiency and ease-of-use of our systems and sites, for both property owners and consumers, through all channels including mobile and tablet
Enhance our level of support to you as property owners
Secondly, the merger will help maintain a competitive marketplace for you to attract consumers to your properties.
We want to provide a service that continues to compete head to-head with both the larger and more expensive OTAs like Booking.com and Expedia, who are increasingly active in the budget accommodation space, and the smaller, budget-focussed players in the market. We believe that you will benefit from this merger, which brings scale to an operator focussed on the budget accommodation sector while retaining the personal touch and sector knowledge of a smaller player. We hope you share our enthusiasm for the merger as it will enable us to provide you with an even greater range of services, including enhanced investment in technology, customer service, marketing and property support.
We believe the net result will be more beds filled, on more nights of the year, for more of our property owners.
From an operational point of view, please continue along the lines of business as usual, speaking to your usual contacts and following the same processes and procedures. Rest assured that, going forwards, any changes that may occur will be communicated directly with you at the appropriate time.
We look forward to our continued partnership.
CEO WRIView post...