Expedia Inc. forms partnership to promote World Heritage sites


BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Fresh from its Aug. 9 spin-off from IAC/InterActiveCorp, Expedia Inc. entered into an agreement with the United Nations Foundation (UNF), a public charity created by Ted Turner to promote an awareness of sustainable tourism and UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Though the partnership is still in its formative stages, the agreement stakes out four areas of activity through which it will pursue its objectives.

  • Expedia will promote education about the World Heritage sites by dedicating portions of its travel Web sites to posting information about them. For instance, a number of World Heritage information pages will be mounted on Expedia.com. In addition, other Expedia Inc. sites -- which include Classic Custom Vacations site, Hotels.com, Hotwire and TripAdvisor -- may be included in the initiative, but the determination of which ones has not yet been made.

  • Expedia will create trips to World Heritage destinations and offer them for sale on its Expedia.com Web site. On the pages dedicated to information about World Heritage destinations to which Expedia offers trips, it will display buttons to click on booking trips to the destination. All net profit from the trips will be donated to the UNF for the support of World Heritage activities. Expedia has not yet announced which of the 812 World Heritage sites it will offer trips for. (If any additional Expedia Inc. sites join the initiative, they too will feature this option.)

  • Expedia will match donations up to $50,000 total toward developing locally owned tourism enterprises at World Heritage sites.

  • Expedia employees will help develop sustainable, locally owned and managed tourism businesses at World Heritage sites.
  • The plans are still in preliminary stages, a spokesman said, and the complete plan will be announced in late November.

    For a complete list of the World Heritage sites, see http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/. For more information about the U.N. Foundation, see www.unfoundation.org.

    To contact reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].

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