Monaker Group, Inc. (OTCQB: MKGI) is traveling far and fast. In a recent interview with investor relations firm MissionIR, CEO Bill Kerby recapitulated the company’s most recent achievements and its prospects in the growing online travel-booking marketplace. Statista estimates (http://dtn.fm/6rOeB) that global international tourism revenue in 2014 was $1,245 billion. Of that, about 27 percent, or $340 billion, was online travel-booking revenues. Online travel agency (OTA) revenues are expected to continue growing at 12 percent annually, according to this Forbes piece (http://dtn.fm/BIjt4). OTA websites have evolved to accommodate this increased demand and now may offer information and access to airlines, hotels and alternative lodging, car rentals, cruises, rail and a combination of any of the above, referred to in the industry as ‘packaged travel’.
In the middle of 2015, Monaker restructured its operations to take advantage of what CEO Bill Kerby has described as ‘the hottest space in travel… alternative lodging’. This is where people rent vacation homes rather than hotel rooms. An 8-K filing in June 2015 published the company’s name change to Monaker Group, Inc. and a 1-for-50 reverse stock split, known colloquially as a rollback. In October 2015, Monaker announced (http://dtn.fm/CHpJ0) that it had acquired AlwaysOnVacations, a large and very popular global platform. AlwaysOnVacations had, by the end of 2014, listed 65,000 properties in 120 countries. It also had 60 affiliated partner websites, available in 16 languages, and about 700,000 subscribers worldwide to its newsletters, also available in 16 languages.
The AlwaysOnVacations properties are part ‘of close to 1.2 million homes’ that Monaker has ‘under contract’, part of its strategy of cultivating ‘significant partnerships for accessing inventory’. As CEO Bill Kerby pointed out, inventory of that size would make Monaker as big as HomeAway, which was acquired by Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE) in December 2015 for $3.9 billion. In March 2016, Monaker said that subsidiary Maupintour had signed a sponsorship agreement with Trisept Solutions, creators of VAX VacationAccess and Xcelerator. VAX VacationAccess is an award-winning leisure travel marketplace that is used by over 70,000 travel agents. Xcelerator is a new, revolutionary agency management platform that enables travel agents to capture extensive client profile and trip information.
Also in March 2016, the company announced its plans to add CustomTravelClubs.com as a preferred distributor of its multiple travel products, including its growing alternative lodging inventory and Maupintour land and tour packages. CustomTravelClubs.com is a global brand servicing travel customers all over the world, and it offers unique travel products to its exclusive members and builds custom tailored travel clubs for organizations. And, also in March, the company’s comprehensive booking platform, NextTrip.com, added over 150,000 vacation rental units. The company also reported that, as a new feature, these new properties can be booked instantly without the typical wait for a formal response from the property owner to confirm booking.
In April 2016, the company made public some details of a partnership with Recruiter.com, an online global recruiting service with close to three million accounts. Also in April 2016, it announced the engagement of Primero Systems to upgrade its flagship travel website, NextTrip.com. NextTrip.com is the industry’s first booking engine featuring alternative lodging (vacation home rentals, resort residences and unused timeshares), as well as a vast array of airlines, hotels, cruises, rental cars, tours and concierge services, all combined in one platform to give customers the power of choice when booking their vacations.
Monaker’s travel assets now include Maupintour, with over 65 years in tour-guided vacations; Voyage.TV, with its thousands of hours of travel footage shot in over 30 countries around the world; AlwaysOnVacations, with its 250,000 listed properties; and NextTrip.com. NextTrip is traveling in areas left uncharted by AirBnB, HomeAway, Priceline and FlipKey by offering both proprietary and partner-held alternative lodging accommodation, traditional hotel accommodation, timeshare and resort inventory, real-time booking, a bidding platform, video content, car rentals, cruise packages, tours, airline bookings, and access to real live travel agents. It may be time for investors to take their next trip with Monaker.
For more information, visit www.monakergroup.com
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