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Web Reservations International (WRI), the online accommodation booking company behind Hostelworld, has announced its acquisition of

The all paper deal will require regulatory clearance but will be a welcome addition to the company which already owns the and websites.

WRI is a provider of technology, distribution and marketing solutions to accommodation and other travel suppliers worldwide through a network of owned sites and affiliate partners.

It currently delivers online reservations to over 35,000 venues in 180 countries, including hostels, budget hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses, campsites and apartments.

Chief executive Feargal Mooney said the company aimed to be the fastest-growing online provider of value accommodation through the application of innovative technology.

“We are delighted to have agreed the purchase of HostelBookers with its owners,” he said today.

“We have long admired the business, and can see real opportunities for our customers and property owners in this combination.”

The move is considered key to its ambitions to take on the industry stalwarts Expedia and

“We want to provide a service that both competes head to-head with the large online travel agents, and retains the personal service and sector knowledge that comes from being a smaller, budget-focused player,” said Mr Mooney.