Google Maps Poised to Be an $11 Billion Business in 4 Years

Google Maps rolled out an augmented reality feature. A traveler tries it in Vietnam. Justanothersimian / YouTube Skift Take: When you’re Google, you can take more than a decade to hone a product such as Google Maps and attract more than a billion users without having to worry that it isn’t making lots of money. … [Read more…]

TripAdvisor Drops Outmoded Little Wiser Owl Character From Ads

A screenshot from a TripAdvisor ad campaign that kicked off August 15, 2019. TripAdvisor Skift Take: TripAdvisor’s new ad campaign is more hip than its usual fare. It also shows where its business is heading with hotel booking eventually having to share the limelight with tours and dining. — Dennis Schaal Slim Leather Travel Passport … [Read more…]

TripAdvisor Looks to Counter Google by Considering Loyalty Initiatives for First Time

TripAdvisor saw decreased free traffic from Google in the second quarter of 2019. Pictured is Google Maps, a key part of Google’s travel initiatives. Bloomberg Skift Take: A new loyalty program and a brand campaign to bolster direct traffic and user engagement are among the measures TripAdvisor is working on to counter the fact that … [Read more…]

Booking Holdings CEO Sees Greater Need for Urgency Under New Exec Structure

Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel wants to speed up the pace of execution at the company. BTO / Flickr Skift Take: Booking Holdings, along with Expedia Group, have both had to deal with acquisitions and integrations that have been taking too long. Booking officials are undoubtedly frustrated with the pace of progress at OpenTable and … [Read more…]

Trivago Could Kill Controversial Ad Feature That Caused Its Fortunes to Plummet

The facade and logo outside Trivago headquarters in Dusseldorf, Germany. Trivago is trying to improve its relationships with its largest advertisers. Trivago Skift Take: Trivago is trying to make peace with its largest advertisers, especially the biggest, Booking Holdings. These peace overtures seem to be working for now, but metasearch and advertising can be very … [Read more…]

Momondo’s Viral Video Is a Piece of Kayak’s Brand Marketing Strategy

A screenshot from Momondo’s The World Piece video in which some 60 participants create an interwoven tattoo. Momondo Skift Take: When Booking Holdings acquired Momondo in 2017 to pair with fellow metasearch brand Kayak, officials said one of Momondo’s core strengths was its brand marketing bonafides. The World Piece video works because it stirs emotions, … [Read more…]

Here Are Travel’s Big Winners in an Antitrust Crackdown on Big Tech

The federal government is contemplating a regulatory crackdown against Google, Facebook and Amazon. Skift Take: Some are too scared to say so publicly, but much of the travel industry would welcome a diminution of Google’s vast market power. If a U.S. regulatory probe gets going against Big Tech, it is a very open question how … [Read more…]

Google Hotels Prompts Trivago to Increase Advertising in 50 Global Markets

Trivago is experimenting with new TV ad concepts, including having its actor spokespeople merely narrate spots instead of appearing in them. Trivago Skift Take: Google is eating the world. When metasearch sites such as Trivago see a strategic benefit in increasing their advertising in Google metasearch, it’s not only enough to make your head spin, … [Read more…]

Beyond Bookings: South Africa’s Travelstart Expands Into Media Space

Visitors play beach tennis and sit beneath parasols on Lagoon beach in Cape Town, South Africa, the kind of travelers Travelstart’s new media hub aims to target. Kevin Sutherland / Bloomberg Skift Take: Brands love an audience, and Travelstart boasts the best online travel booking numbers in Africa. Little wonder this leading online travel agency … [Read more…]

Google’s Travel Services Aren’t a Focus of European Regulators Just Yet

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, at a press conference March 20, 2019 announcing a fine against Google. European Union Skift Take: Over the last couple of years, rumors have been flying around that the European Union wanted to take a closer look at Google’s travel tools. For now at least, that doesn’t seem to be the … [Read more…]