SINGAPORE, February 22nd 2012 – Wego, Asia-Pacific region’s leading travel search engine, today announced its intention to expand its business globally with the launch of 34 new country sites in 20 different languages, targeting almost all developed or emerging travel markets worldwide.
New CEO Ross Veitch commented,
“When Craig Hewett and I founded Wego in 2005 in Singapore, it was always our intention that Wego should be focused on serving the needs of travellers in the Asia-Pacific region, given that nobody else was doing it at the time and because this is the part of the world that we know best. While this remains true today, what we’ve found when we analyse our user data is that a significant number of travellers from other parts of the world have also discovered Wego and are relying on us to search for flights and hotels. This is why we’ve decided to localise our product fully, to better service the needs of these users.”
In December 2011, the Company soft-launched the 34 new country sites along with a radical redesign incorporating several new features that had been in development for many months.
The new features include:
Hotels Popular Search: An extensive data-mining exercise undertaken by Wego showed that users from different countries had clearly differentiated preferences for hotels in a given city. Using the results of this exercise, Wego now sorts hotels in a given location based on how popular they are with local users. For example, Singaporean users pay more attention to hotels that are popular with other Singaporeans. This contrasts with the approaches taken by most other hotel booking sites which sort hotels based on global popularity or worse still, how much commission they get paid.
DateWise Fare Finder: The most frequently requested feature from users over the last year has been a tool to help travellers who have flexible schedules identify the cheapest dates to fly. By data-mining and then summarising in graphical form the tremendous volume of flight search queries passing through Wego each day, the Company has been able to achieve this.
Flight Schedules: For many travellers, particularly those flying for business, the timing of flights is the most critical factor in flight selection. Wego has built a tool that shows schedules for all direct flights worldwide, optionally including codesharing details and importantly listing the aircraft type for each flight. Once the user has picked a flight, he/she is only one click away from checking fares and seat availability.
Popular Destinations: Based on analysis of millions of Wego users’ diverse data trails, the Company has calculated country-specific lists of the most popular destinations. Wego promotes these destinations on the homepage of each country site to make sure users always know what the best airfare deal is to get there.
Initial reaction from users has been very positive, with traffic up 22% from December 2011 to January 2012 in what is normally a quiet month given the Christmas and Chinese New Year holiday weeks. This trend has continued into February giving the management team cause to be even more bullish about 2012.
“The new format and features are clearly resonating with users as we’ve seen much deeper engagement with the localised sites,”
Wego is headquartered in Singapore and was founded by Ross Veitch and business partner Craig Hewett in 2005. The core team is based here and the product and platform are 100% Made in Singapore.
“Much of our success can be attributed to our pick of Singapore, due to the country’s exceptional talent pool, relatively friction-free regulatory system, central location and the excellent business environment we share with a large number of internet and travel companies,”
Wego’s Singapore base has also enabled the Company to realise an early mover advantage in the region. Travel search (or travel metasearch as it’s sometimes called) did not exist in Asia Pacific when Wego was founded in 2005 and the Company has effectively defined the sector.
Another factor setting Wego apart has been its success in providing a flexible and integrated white label platform used by major portals such as Yahoo!, ViaSingapore.com, YourSingapore, MSN and Detik and most recently ninemsn in Australia to integrate Wego travel search functionality into their own travel sites.
WEGO SINGAPORE LAUNCH
Today the Company also officially announced the launch of Wego Singapore (www.wego.com.sg) which is specifically customised for the needs of Singapore travel shoppers. The site is currently available in 3 languages – English, Bahasa Malay and Simplified Chinese with a Tamil version in the works.
A user visiting Wego Singapore to look for a flight is able to search with one click all of the relevant airlines and online travel agents. This includes the sites and brands that a user may already be familiar with, but more importantly the many others that they may not know.
Users searching Wego for hotels will not only be assured of finding the absolute best price in the market, but will also be shown the ones that have proven to be popular with other Singaporeans in recent months.
“Wego’s mission is to help our users everywhere to save time, pay less and travel more.”
Considered the ideal site to begin planning travel, Wego.com gives travellers a complete view of available flights, hotels, travel packages and deals from hundreds of travel websites in the time that it takes to search just one. The latest pricing, availability and reviews are shown, with tools provided to select the cheapest days to fly and to find the best hotel offers. Travellers then simply click through to the partner websites to book.
Wego.com was founded in 2005 by former executives of Intercontinental Hotels Group, Yahoo!, Priceline and ZUJI. Investors include News Digital Media and Tiger Global. In 2010, Wego merged with HolidayIQ.com, an established India based travel content and community site. For more information, please visit http: www.wego.com/about
For media enquiries, please contact: