Auto/Economy
6:02 pm
Tue October 18, 2011

Europe’s largest online hotel reservation company expanding in West Michigan

Booking.com is a subsidiary of Priceline.com. The company put its first North American call center in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming because there are a lot of tech-savvy young people who are fluent in many European languages.

“It’s important because at different times of the day and on weekends or holidays in other countries, they’re switching those calls here,” said Sue Jackson, Vice President of Business Development at The Right Place. The economic-development group helped attract the company in 2008 and secured the latest expansion.

“We’re thrilled, obviously,” Jackson said about the 562 fulltime jobs the company is expected to create over the next 3 years. “That’s a lot of jobs for us.”

There are already more than 400 workers at the Wyoming facility. They provide technical support solving problems for travelers trying to book hotels online overseas.

“It is a credit to the multi-lingual skills and work ethic of West Michigan’s workforce that priceline is increasing its investment in our region,” said Jackson.