Google’s Travel Gains Levy Pain at TripAdvisor and Expedia

TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer (left) and Expedia Group CEO Mark Okerstrom separately pointed to Google as hurting their businesses’ performance in the third quarter of 2019. TripAdvisor and Expedia Skift Take: The fact that Google is leveraging its dominance as a search engine into taking market share away from travel competitors is no longer even … [Read more…]

Expedia’s Reorganization Efforts Make the Company Less Nimble

Expedia Group is reshaping its internal teams, which contributed to a weak third quarter of 2019. Expedia Group Skift Take: Behind the scenes, the reorganization within Expedia Group must be ugly. Otherwise the CEO wouldn’t have cited it near the beginning of his prepared remarks during the earnings call. The last time Expedia cited a … [Read more…]

Google Is Phasing Out Its Buzzy Touring Bird Tours and Activities Search Feature

The USS Constitution is shown in Boston Harbor. Google is phasing out Touring Bird, which enabled users to compare tour options. Associated Press Skift Take: Touring Bird gained no traction in the real world outside Area 120, and for all the inroads metasearch has made in hotels, flights, and cars, it has really struggled in … [Read more…]

Did Airbnb’s Contrarian Narrative Just Get Messed Up?

New reporting on Airbnb suggests its finances might not be as neat and tidy as it hopes to present ahead going public, with operating losses doubling in the first quarter. Lulu Yilun Chen / Bloomberg Skift Take: Airbnb is on a path toward spending as much as $2 billion in sales and marketing in 2019. … [Read more…]

Budget Hotels Drive Southeast Asia’s Online Travel Growth to $34 Billion

An Oyo hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The rise of budget hotel chains like Oyo and RedDoorz has driven the growth of Southeast Asia’s online travel sector to $34.4 billion this year. Oyo Rooms Skift Take: Like low-cost carriers before them, low-cost hotel chains are playing a big role in the growth of … [Read more…]

Skyscanner Wants to Be Instagram-Like in Selling Flights

An image of Skyscanner’s mobile app after the September 2019 rebranding of the company. Skyscanner Skift Take: We can shop for TVs and clothes on our phone, but booking flights remains stubbornly old school. Skyscanner is one of a few online players working with airlines to fix that. — Sean O’Neill Slim Leather Travel Passport … [Read more…]

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 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 Quietly Taps Google Heavy Hitter to Lead Marketing in Exec Reorg

Arjan Dijk, a former Google executie, is the new chief marketing officer at Booking.com. Skift Take: Glenn Fogel adding CEO to his Booking.com title as Gillian Tans transitioned to a one-year chairwoman role was not the only element of the management shakeup at the parent company’s largest brand in June. The executive changes were more … [Read more…]

The Surprising Rise of Hotel Spending on Metasearch Advertising

The Toronto city skyline with various hotels to choose from is seen from a building under construction in 2013. Brent Lewin / Bloomberg Skift Take: Many hotel groups are directing more of their ad budgets toward price-comparison search sites. That’s a boon for vendors providing connectivity and automation services. But it’s also a welcome, if … [Read more…]