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Travel Industry Has Pockets Of Growth: Orbitz CEO

Although travel across the business and leisure sectors is down, there are “significant” pockets of growth, said Barney Harford, Orbitz Worldwide president and CEO on Wednesday.

“We actually saw room nights booked into destinations like Las Vegas and the Caribbean up 40 percent and Hawaii up 50 percent in the quarter,” he said.

Harford points to Orbitz’ package deals as a main driver for the growth.

“Hotels have been quite strategic about the way they price,” he said. “We’re seeing a fair amount of discounts and promotions being made available.”

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The revenue that Orbitz earns on a hotel room is typically a percentage of the total booking amount, Harford said.

As the number of bookings goes down and so too average booking prices, Orbitz’ commission declines and that has cut into Orbitz earnings. But Harford says Orbitz plays a key role for the hotel industry.

“We represent a very important channel to our hotel partners,” said Harford. “They have empty beds and they’re looking to us to help fill them.”

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