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.
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.
A 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.