SideStep Announces International Expansion

Travel Search Engine Leader Transforms Online Travel in the United Kingdom and Ireland

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ — SideStep, the traveler’s search engine, today announced its launch into the United Kingdom and Ireland. The United Kingdom represents the largest online travel market in Europe and SideStep is the first American travel search provider to establish a presence there and in Ireland.

The company will transform online travel in the European market by making it easier and more convenient for people in the United Kingdom and Ireland to find and book travel anywhere in the world. Additionally, Americans traveling abroad can now tap a familiar resource, SideStep.com, to book additional legs of their journey, while European travelers looking to take a trip within their own countries and beyond can now turn to SideStep. Consumers throughout Europe will be able to search more than 100 travel providers for the best deals.

As the founder of the online travel search category, SideStep continues to drive ongoing innovation in a fast growing space. In 2005, SideStep drove $1 billion in transactions for its travel provider partners. Research firm PhoCusWright projects that the European online travel market will grow from $34.7 billion in 2005 to $50.6 billion in 2006. The United Kingdom represents approximately 35% of this market, and SideStep is poised to win business and drive significant change in the European online travel sector.

“SideStep’s expansion into the United Kingdom and Ireland highlights the momentum behind the company and follows its strategy towards ongoing innovation,” said Rob Solomon, SideStep’s CEO. “Our travel search model has proven to be extremely successful in the United States and international growth is the next logical step. We see tremendous opportunity abroad and look forward to providing European travelers with the ultimate online travel experience.”

SideStep differs significantly from existing online travel sites within the European market. It scans a broad network of travel resources to identify the best deals including:

— Online agencies (e.g. ebookers)
— Consolidators (e.g. Octopus Travel)
— Low cost carriers (e.g. easyJet)
— Major airlines (e.g. British Airways)
— Hoteliers (e.g. InterContinental and Best Western)
— Rental car companies (e.g. AutoEurope and Enterprise Rent-A-Car)

Currently, the European online travel market is highly fragmented with many small independent airlines, hotels and car rental companies. In a recent study, SideStep found the average U.K. traveler checks at least five-to-six Web sites before booking a trip, compared to Americans who search an average of three. SideStep’s expansion into the United Kingdom and Ireland will enable Americans and Europeans to effortlessly locate the best deals, which will save travelers time and money.

Travelers in Europe interested in finding the best airfare, hotels, and car rentals online can access SideStep at www.sidestep.com.

About SideStep

SideStep — the traveler’s search engine — delivers the most comprehensive selection of travel choices at the best prices to more than 4.7 million consumers each month. SideStep has been named one of TIME Magazine’s “50 Coolest Web Sites” and declared “Best of the Web” by Forbes. The company has forged alliances with leading travel brands such as Hilton Hotels Corporation, Marriott International, American Airlines, JetBlue, Dollar Rent A Car and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The company has international reach into the United Kingdom and Ireland and is partnered with leading European travel providers such as British Airways, Hilton International, InterContinental and Holiday Inn. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, SideStep is privately held and has raised more than $17 million in funding from Trident Capital and individual investors. For more information, visit www.sidestep.com.

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