Intro to Booking.com

For those of you who are not familiar with Booking.com hopefully, this helps. To be honest, until recently I was unaware that they were owned by Priceline, began as a startup in Amsterdam, and that the brand employed over 15,000 across 199+ offices worldwide. It really goes to show how much impact Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have in the travel industry.

“Our approach to innovations is to fail fast,” said David Vismans, global director, and chief product officer, in a post by The Nation. For example, they will test features like the “Only 1 room left on our site!” on a small segment of users and assess it through A/B testing before it is officially launched.

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I think that is one of their greatest features because it pushes (almost forces) the consumer to make a decision in place of lollygagging. And because the website features free cancellation options and there’s no requirement for pre-payment the user’s room selection is not set in stone.

Screenshot 2017-06-30 12.50.49A couple days ago I noticed that Booking.com changed their homepage and it now features tabs for flights from Kayak, rental cars from Rentalcars.com, and Restaurant reservations from OpenTable (my personal favorite), as you might expect all these companies fall under the Priceline Group.

This is definitely a competitive move against rivals like Expedia, who prides itself on being the world’s largest full-service travel agency.  C-Trip also offers a wide range of similar services primarily for the Chinese market but the company is looking to expand overseas, according to The Wall Street Journal. We can’t forget about TripAdvisor who is heavily invested in hotels, restaurants, flights, vacation rentals, tours, and more.

Where do I begin?!

I really struggled with what direction to go on in my first post focused on the intersection of travel and technology. The industry of travel is so exciting and moving extremely fast that it is tough not to get overwhelmed with all the information that is out there. If there’s a topic that you would like me to write about please don’t hesitate to in the comment section below and I am happy to write about it.

For those of you who aren’t as up to speed with travel trends, consider the impact of Facebook‘s Messenger bot to major travel brands including Kayak, Skyscanner and Expedia, Iceland Air‘s Stopover experience and the array of large hotel chains that have created brands that focus on millennials. And we can’t forget about the growth of the sharing economy with AirBnb, Uber, tons and tons of location-based services like Tripr and Tourli, and that doesn’t even scratch the service.

The entire travel industry has so much potential that large companies like Facebook Travel and Google Travel (Google Trips App, Google Flights and much more) see the potential in making billions. As mentioned above, AirBnb is a HUGE player, especially with $850 million in funding from Google Capital.

We can’t forget about the impact that Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Expedia, Booking.com, and Agoda have on the hotel industry. They offer a service that has been successful and makes a large chunk of change. More to come on this topic.