Big chain-backed hotel search engine Room Key is spreading into new territories this week with news that it is opening sites for consumers in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The expansion comes two months on from its high-profile launch, when six of the world's biggest hotel chains - Choice Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels, InterContinental Hotels, Marriott International and Wyndham Hotel Group - formed a joint venture under the leadership of CEO John Davis, founder of the Pegasus hotel distribution and technology service.
The launch of the country sites will give consumers localised content and currency details on dedicated URLs (.co.uk, .com.au, etc).
Davis says Room Key is also increasing the volume of hotel content on the site, not least because it has recently signed product partnerships with Best Western, Preferred Hotel Group and WorldHotels.
Trust Internationalwill also be the first computerised reservation system to sign up to the Room Key platform. The brand also recently boasted encouraging visitor numbers in its first few months.
Not announced by Room Key is what appears to be an early exit by some senior people from the brand, including two important figures from Hotelicopter, the metasearch service which Room Key acquired quietly in the summer of 2011 to act as it's tech platform.
Adam Healey, Hotelicopter CEO and vice president of affiliate solutions after Room Key's official launch, left the business this month for a new role at Borrowed & Blue, a wedding vendor directory.
Healey has not responded to calls.
Meanwhile, Hotelicopter sales boss John Hayes, who also moved to Room Key as part of the acquisition, has left to join Regatta Travel Solutions and its new vice president of sales after just eight months.
Regatta says Hayes left Room Key when the company "announced their exit from the DMO space".