They seem to be at opposite ends of the world. Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE) and Travelzoo (Nasdaq: TZOO) posted quarterly results this week, and the travel websites couldn't be farther apart.

This morning's report out of Expedia is uplifting. Revenues grew by 25% to $665.3 million. Growth has accelerated on the top line in each of the past four quarters.

The growth in Europe is only part of the upside of what you're seeing from Expedia and rivals like Priceline (Nasdaq: PCLN) and Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW). Sure, European bookings were up by 47% (or 35% after factoring in favorable foreign exchange rates), but Expedia's North American bookings were also up a sharp 18%.

Operating profits also inched higher. Expedia's ultimate profitability was hurt by the debt it incurred in taking on a massive share repurchase, but the result is that adjusted earnings on a per-share basis rose by 11% to $0.31 for the quarter.

It may not be a great report, but it's no worse than a good one. The same can't be said for Travelzoo. The company behind the popular "Top 20" travel deals email saw its stock fall by 32% yesterday after posting disappointing quarterly results. (That seems to be the trend at Travelzoo, judging by last quarter.)

Travelzoo is not an online travel agency; it is a travel publisher, generating its revenue by sending leads to various travel providers who pay to get on the company's website and weekly emails.

Revenues inched just 8% higher to $19.1 million, as Travelzoo simply broke even for the quarter after turning a profit of $0.26 a share a year earlier. Wall Street was looking for a profit of $0.14 a share on $20.2 million in revenue.

The culprit is a doozy. The company's effective income tax rate was a whopping 98.3%. Yes, it paid more than $0.98 to Uncle Sam for every dollar in profit it recorded during the quarter. How can this be? Well, losses widened in Asia and Europe as Travelzoo ramps up its offerings abroad. Those losses cannot be used to offset taxable gains back home.

This doesn't mean that shareholders can breathe easy. Things aren't going well in North America, where revenues inched up just 6% higher as operating profits fell by 20%.

Generating leads can be a lucrative business. You see it working well at companies such as Bankrate (Nasdaq: RATE) for financial products, The Knot (Nasdaq: KNOT) for wedding planning, and InsWeb (Nasdaq: INSW) for insurance. It seemed to be working well for Travelzoo too, but now its shares are trading at a quarter of its 52-week high.

The company may not keep heading in the wrong direction forever, but it will need to turn losses into profits aborad -- and improve its domestic operations -- before it gets the connecting gate information to find its way back into Wall Street's open runway.

For related Foolishness:

Priceline is an active recommendation for Stock Advisor subscribers. The Knot and Bankrate are Rule Breakers newsletter picks. Take a flight on either one -- for free -- over the next 30 days with a trial subscription.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been booking travel online since the 1990s, but he does not own shares in any company in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a continental disclosure policy.