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SideStep Opens on Amazon, Enters Britain and Ireland

Travel search engine SideStep Inc. opened its store yesterday on Amazon.com, giving a huge traffic boost to the engine.

The Santa Clara, CA, company also announced its entry into Ireland and Britain, both fragmented markets full of discount air carriers and small hotels and rental car firms. Irish and British consumers now can search for travel deals online through the site at www.sidestep.com, with their browsers set to the pertinent country.

SideStep's expansion news comes two weeks after former Yahoo executive Rob Solomon took over as president/CEO. He previously was vice president and general manager of Yahoo Shopping Group.

The company's presence on Amazon will let consumers search hundreds of travel sites for flight, car rental, hotel and vacation deals online.

SideStep, which attracts 4.7 million unique visitors monthly, claims to generate $1 billion in gross bookings yearly for its partners.

Travel consultancy PhoCusWright estimates the $63.5 billion U.S. online travel market — last year's spend — will grow almost 50 percent to $95 billion in 2007. The European online travel market will grow from $34.7 billion last year to $50.6 billion in 2006, with Britain accounting for 35 percent of that.

SideStep is poised to win business and drive change in the European online travel sector.

Solomon said U.S. travel search accounts for $2 billion in transactions through search engines like SideStep.

SideStep will use search engine marketing, its Amazon deal and public relations to spread the word on its extended presence.

Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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