September 18, 2007 08:00 ET

World Hotel-Link Travel Marketplace for the Developing World Launches Travel Network in 40 Countries

HONG KONG--(Marketwire - September 18, 2007) - Limited (WHL) today announced the launch of its network of travel sites ( in over 70 destinations in 40 countries, including China and India. The sites are catering to those wishing to travel "off the beaten track" and who are tired of the "fast food" travel options being offered by most online service providers.

Increasing numbers of independent travelers are heading for emerging destinations in search of an authentic experience, but have not been well served by the mainstream travel market. WHL has set out to change this with local partners on the ground in each destination they service.

"So far, most of the accommodation and activities mentioned in guidebooks like Lonely Planet have not been bookable online," said Len Cordiner, CEO of WHL. "Our new network not only gives travelers a choice of interesting accommodation and activity options, but it also gives them a more personalized way of connecting with the locals and the place."

WHL, a private company, originated from a project sponsored by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, to help interesting and unique travel service providers in the developing world gain access to global markets. "Accommodation and activity providers in places like Madagascar and Mongolia face big challenges in connecting with travelers," says Len Cordiner, "so we have local people on the ground in each destination to enable that connection and provide a local concierge type service."

More than this, WHL is committed to putting more and new interesting and exciting experiences within the travelers' reach, particularly those that enhance the character of the destination being visited: food, aesthetics, culture, heritage, and environment. WHL encourages travelers to get involved in "Caring for the Destination." WHL is also working on ways to profile local climate change initiatives such as the Plant a Tree Today (PATT) initiative in Laos, as well as ways to improve the travelers experience by integrating grassroots businesses, such as township B&Bs in South Africa, and community initiatives.

About WHL: Limited (WHL) is owned and operated by a team from Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, India, South Africa, Switzerland, the USA and Vietnam. WHL's mission is to provide an international standard online booking service for travel product from the developing world.

In addition to the 70 destinations live, there are another 30 destination sites under construction in Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans, Asia, the Caribbean and in Central/South America. Included in this total are a number in regional China which will go live later this year in time for the Olympics in 2008. Visit for more information.

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