WESTON, FL--(Marketwired - Dec 20, 2016) - Monaker Group (OTCQB: MKGI), a technology-driven travel company focused on the alternative lodging rental (ALR) market, today released a "Shareholder Update". Key highlights include:
- Proprietary booking engine is completed and conforms to all Online Travel industry standards allowing for easy business to business integration.
- Over 1 million "real-time" bookable properties integrated and more than 2 million ALR properties under contract.
- Company anticipates Roll-out of Business Travel Partners and NextTrip.com consumer platform in January 2017.
- The NextTrip site will be industry leader with real-time bookable properties and a host of travel products and services allowing for "one-stop" travel shopping.
- Mobile App for both Android and IOS versions scheduled for end of January 2017.
I am pleased to report that 2016 has been a year of major progress for Monaker Group. As the year draws to a close, we can confirm that we expect to launch our alternative lodging rental (ALR) business in January 2017.
This business will have two components. The first is our proprietary Monaker Booking Engine (MBE), which will allow both business travel partners and consumers to access our lodging products. Our other offering, NextTrip.com, is a direct-to-consumer platform that for the first time will provide real-time alternative lodging reservations that include access to all major mainstream travel products and services.
What's more, we now have signed contracts with dozens of lodging vendors for two million rental properties in the U.S., Europe, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. To date, over one million of these properties have been loaded onto our MBE staging servers and the other half are now being certified and will be uploaded soon. Globally, this will give our Company a meaningful industry presence, emulating sector leaders such as Airbnb with 2.5 million properties and Expedia/HomeAway with an estimated 1.2 million properties.
In arriving at this exciting position, Monaker has this year achieved several key milestones. These include the buildout of our MBE and our "plug and play" application program Interface (API), making it possible for wholesale travel service providers to easily access our ALR inventory in the instantaneous booking format they require. We have also been working to integrate our ALR inventory into multiple travel platforms, distribution groups, and travel websites. Financially speaking, during the past year we also simplified our capital structure and strengthened our balance sheet by eliminating over $10 million of debt and three classes of Monaker's Preferred shares.
Looking forward, we believe our MBE business solution and NextTrip consumer platform can be true game changers in the ALR industry. Why? The major problem with ALR sites, even Airbnb, is that many of their properties aren't bookable in real-time, meaning that travelers must often wait quite a while for an owner to confirm bookings. For this same reason, online travel agencies (OTAs), tour operators, and airline and cruise originators -- the very customers best served by our MBE business solution -- are increasingly requiring ALR sites to offer real-time booking as a prerequisite to integration with their own service platforms.
The second major problem impacting ALR platforms has been that not a single one has ever offered all mainstream travel services -- flights, conventional lodging, timeshares, rental cars, cruises, and tour and land packages -- on a single site.
Soon, however, NextTrip will solve both these issues, and, along with our MBE platform, should commence transactional business next month. The NextTrip platform has been designed to allow individuals and groups to search, share, converse and recommend vacation destinations, and earn instant "cash back" rewards when they book and contribute to the site. Additionally, the NextTrip Mobile App will be introduced in IOS and Android versions.
With such rich features, we expect that MBE and NextTrip will appeal to a far greater number of travelers and wholesale travel providers than any other ALR service -- and help generate significant booking revenue for Monaker in 2017. The bulk of this revenue, we expect, will be derived from our MBE and travel wholesale partners.
Our revenue outlook is further buoyed by data from independent experts, which report that the ALR industry is one of the fastest growing segments in the travel sector and is projected to total $169 billion by 2019.
In conclusion, we are finishing up this fiscal (Feb.28th) year on a very strong note, with a clean capitalization structure, nominal short-term debt, and a dynamic ALR platform that can service both B-to-B and B-to-C clients. On behalf of our entire management team, I extend our heartfelt and sincere thanks to each of you, our loyal shareholders, for your dedication and support.
Best wishes to you and yours for a great Holiday and a prosperous 2017.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Monaker Group is a technology driven Travel Company with multiple divisions and brands, leveraging more than 65 years of operation in leisure travel. Monaker's flagship is NextTrip.com, 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 giving customers the power of choice when booking their vacations. The NextTrip site is powered by Monaker's booking engine utilizing rich content, imagery and high-quality video to maximize the traveler's experience and assist them in the search, decision and purchasing process of alternative lodging. By combining key features and functionality with advanced proprietary and licensed technology, NextTrip is able to present comprehensive vacation alternatives at best pricing.
With key partnerships and established travel brands used as cornerstones, the Company's mission is to continue to expand offerings to become the "one stop" vacation center. Headquartered in South Florida, the Company employs a dedicated team of travel and technology professionals. For more information visit the company's website at www.monakergroup.com
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties concerning the plans and expectations of Monaker Group. These statements are only predictions and actual events or results may differ materially from those described in this press release due to a number of risks and uncertainties, some of which are out of our control. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, or the expectations of future growth may not be realized. These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof, and Monaker Group undertakes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. All forward looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by the "Risk Factors" and other cautionary statements included in Monaker Group's annual, quarterly and special reports, proxy statements and other public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including, but not limited to, the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended February 29, 2016 which has been filed with the SEC and is available at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.