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Originally published July 25, 2013 at 11:03 AM | Page modified July 26, 2013 at 6:56 AM

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New Booking.com center may create 350 Bellevue jobs

The affiliate of Priceline.com touts itself as the world’s leading online hotel-reservation service. It will lease space in the Eastgate area, virtually in the backyard of competitor Expedia.

Seattle Times business reporter

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An affiliate of Priceline.com has selected Bellevue for a customer-service center that could mean up to 350 new jobs, officials said Thursday.

Booking.com, which touts itself as the world’s leading online hotel-reservation service, has signed a lease at Sunset Corporate Campus in Bellevue’s Eastgate area for its third U.S. customer-service center, according to the Economic Development Council of Seattle & King County.

The move puts Booking.com in the backyard of its chief competitor, Expedia, which owns Hotels.com and other travel-related websites.

On its website, Booking.com says it offers bookings at more than 329,600 properties in 184 countries. Hotels.com’s site says it offers travelers some 205,000 properties worldwide.

Booking.com said the Bellevue area’s concentration of multilingual residents was a key factor in its decision to select it for the new hub, which will serve markets in Asia and the Pacific Rim.

“We’re focused on increasing our presence in a region that reflects the technological savvy and diverse workforce that perfectly fit our company,” said Todd Dunlap, managing director of Booking.com’s North American operations, in the council’s news release. Booking.com is based in The Netherlands.

The company opened a Seattle office last year that’s expected to grow to 50 employees and move to downtown Bellevue later this year.

Jeff Marcell, the economic-development council’s president and CEO, said in a statement that Booking.com’s choice “will further strengthen our reputation as a great place for international companies to set up shop.”

Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or sbhatt@seattletimes.com On Twitter @sbhatt

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