The Li Ka-shing-controlled online ticketing agency, Hutchison-Priceline (Travel), has lined up 25 airlines and 8,000 hotel properties to offer discounted accommodation and airline tickets, according to chief executive Alfredo Gangotena. The travel site, priceline.com.hk, will be launched tomorrow and is the first of its kind in Hong Kong. The launch will go ahead despite the territory's relatively low levels of Internet shopping activity. Priceline is based on a 'name-your-own-price' concept. The company claims the site allows users to save up to 30 per cent on hotel and flight charges compared with booking through conventional channels. '[The model] provides customers with superior savings . . . and we believe people will come to shop on the Internet,' Mr Gangotena said. He said airlines and hotels offered their excess inventories - rooms and tickets they have been unable to sell through traditional channels - to Priceline at reduced prices. Priceline sees itself as a complement to, rather than a competitor to, conventional travel operators. According to Mr Gangotena, 80 per cent of the company's sales in US come from 'incremental trips', meaning that these users would not otherwise be flying or going on holidays if it was not for the site offering them packages within their budget. Mr Gangotena said its target group was experienced travellers aged between 20 and 45. He estimated that about two million people in Hong Kong would fall into that category. Priceline, a 65-35 joint venture between Hutchison Whampoa and Priceline.com, hopes to generate 1 per cent of total hotel and airline sales in Hong Kong within four years. His estimation was based on Priceline.com's experience in the United States, where it attracts about 2 per cent of the hotel and airlines sales. Priceline.com is one of the four leading travel sites operated in the US. Mr Li owns 32 per cent of the US online business through his two flagships Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong (Holdings). Mr Gangotena refused to disclose the expected break even date for the Hong Kong operations. But he made reference to the fact that US Priceline achieved profitability last year after four years of operation.