Expedia sets sights overseas for growth

NEW YORK (AP) — Expedia Inc. has set its sights overseas, its chief financial officer said Tuesday, setting a goal of garnering more than half its sales abroad within a few years.

The online travel agency, which runs 30 websites including its namesake, hotels.com and others, now generates about 42 percent of its business outside the U.S. Five years ago, less than a quarter of its business was international. The company estimates that two-thirds of the travel industry is outside the United States.

"We expect our footprint to look a lot more like that as time progresses," CFO Mark Okerstrom said at a conference in London.

Expedia estimates that almost 60 percent of travel bookings in North America are made online. Of those, the company said, 11 percent are made through its websites. Expedia says it holds about 5 percent of the online travel market in Europe, 4 percent in Asia and 2 percent in Latin America.

About 60 million people visit one of Expedia's sites every month.

Shares of the Bellevue, Wash. company rose 7 cents in afternoon trading to $46.32.