Skift.com published an article this week, The Consolidation in the Online Travel Booking Space Over the Last Two Years, with a table showing the acquisitions and consolidation of online travel booking sites over the past 18 months by four major online travel booking agencies (OTA): Expedia, HomeAway, Pricceline and TripAdvisor.
Expedia.com Online Travel Space Acquisitions
Expedia purchased Trivago last year for $632 million and just closed a deal for Australian hotel booking site Wotif at $658 million. Wotif owned Lastminute.com.au which was a site I used in 2005 for my trip to New Zealand where I scored some great hotel rate bargains.
HomeAway.com had Social Sharing Rentals before Airbnb
HomeAway.com is a site I know through Travel Blog Exchange TBEX conferences. Many of the bloggers I’ve met at these conferences score free house stays through HomeAway, but of course they say their opinions are not influenced by the free lodging provided for their trips.
I have not ventured into the arena of home rentals yet, but I might move toward the house rental lodging option over the next year to learn more about this trending space with sites like Airbnb hotting up the travel lodging industry. I keep reading reports about how millennials will grow this social sharing space and start making an impact on the traditional hotel industry competition over the next decade.
HomeAway bought Stayz Group for $205.5 million last year. Stayz.com.au is another Australian rental home booking site. Looks like the big OTA players are positioning for the growing China middle-class travel market.
Priceline.com moves beyond lodging and flights
Priceline.com purchased Kayak.com last year for $1.8 billion and OpenTable for $2.6 billion this year. I still love Kayak.com for comparing hotel rates and locating rate discrepancies for best rate guarantee claims to get hotel rate discounts.
TripAdvisor.com buys up small players in OTA field
TripAdvisor.com was spun off from Expedia and continues to consolidate hotel reviews and destination information. I spent quite a bit of time on TripAdvisor during my May 2014 road trip checking out popular attractions in local places as I traveled from Jacksonville, Florida to Norfolk, Virginia.
TripAdvisor purchased Oyster.com last year for $34.8 million. Oyster.com offers great hotel reviews with dozens of hotel property and room photos. This is a website I have enjoyed over the past few years.
The Elevator Version of OTA Consolidation
Basically, Expedia and Priceline are the WalMart and Target of online travel. Even better though than the retail industry where the giants shutter the mom-and-pop boutiques, these major players in the travel industry world of OTA bookings generally let the venture capital startups continue to exist in the online travel industry space while managing the money.
Skift.com has become one of my favorite websites for travel industry news. I love their logo “Travel IQ”.
Loyalty Traveler related post: The shrinking world of Online Travel Agencies (June 18, 2014) discusses this same trend based on a Hotel News Now article last month.
Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.
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