Expedia to buy hotel booking site Venere

Venere Popup
Venere Popup
On July 15 Venere announced on their blog that Expedia is buying Venere. Venere is an online booking website for hotels worldwide, with a large number of hotels in Italy. Expedia is a large online travel company running Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, TripAdvisor.com and other travel sites.

Venere started out in 1995 as an Italian company. In 2006, the private equity firm Advent International acquired 60% of Venere (a controlling stake in the company).

Earlier this year, Venere acquired WorldBy.com. WorldBy.com runs several destination sites (Tuscany.net, RomeBy.com, FlorenceBy.com) that represent hotels and vacation rentals (villas). Venere has always had vacation rental/villa rental listings as well as hotels. With the acquisition of WorldBy, they are heading more into the villa rentals market.

My old website, SlowTrav.com, was a Venere affilate since 2003. In 2006, when Venere introduced their “popup girl” (see screensnap above), I decided to change from Venere to Booking.com. Did Venere think that graphic would appeal to the people who book hotels? I don’t see her on the site now – maybe she has been removed (good idea!).

My new websites, Slow Europe and Cotswolder, affiliate with Booking.com for hotels throughout Europe. Booking.com and Active Hotels were separate companies, but a few years ago both were purchased by Priceline. Active Hotels was merged into Booking.com. Booking.com has a good selection of European hotels, good prices and easy online booking. They take your credit card information to secure your booking, but do not charge for booking or take a deposit. Changes or cancellations are easy to make online. They have customer support offices in Amsterdam and the US if you have any problems with your booking. I have used Booking.com many times and recommend them.

Merging Travel Businesses

Jeff at Beat of Hawaii wrote a good article about travel businesses merging – What Travel Industry Consolidation and Directional Selling Means To Your Trip Plans. He mentions Internet Brands who bought SlowTrav.com and several other travel communities.

European Vacation Rental Databases Owned by Wyndham

There are some large players in the online travel business. Wyndham Worldwide owns several hotel chains (Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Ramada, etc.) and two of the largest vacation rental databases for Europe: Holiday Cottage Group (previously called Cendant), vacation rentals in the United Kingdom and Europe, and Cuendet, vacation rentals in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.

5 thoughts on “Expedia to buy hotel booking site Venere”

  1. Interesting coincidence. I don’t often use these sites, but today looked at both Venere and Booking.com for our Baden Baden hotel this Thursday (the start of this year’s Ostuni road trip). I didn’t get that horrible pop up for Venere, I’m glad to say (never seen it, though Firefox’s blocker tends to stop these things). For the same hotel (one we’ve used before), Venere was €9 cheaper – so we went with them!

  2. Thanks for commenting Susan – it is good to know that graphic is gone. I think it was only there for a few months, because it was in late 2006 that I noticed it.

    I always compare Venere and Booking.com too – both sites are good to book with.

  3. I wonder if this means that cancellations a few days before will no longer be an option. I have found Venere very convenient to make bookings when the other option was providing your credit card info through email or fax (since I don’t own a fax machine.

    First time I have heard of the Beat of Hawaii blog. Great blog! Thanks for the link!

  4. I think Expedia will continue to run it as a separate website with the same policies. Booking.com also lets you cancel without fees (according to the hotel policy). With Expedia, you are usually getting a cheaper price – so they make it harder to cancel. (That is my guess!)

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