Digital Booking Sites

Expedia Now Claims to Be ‘World’s Largest Travel Site’

@denschaal

Feb 17, 2014 9:00 am

Skift Take

Expedia Inc. takes a somewhat narrow definition in claiming to be the “world’s largest travel site” in its latest ad campaign, and might get an argument on that score from its offspring, TripAdvisor.

— Dennis Schaal

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In Expedia.com's latest ad campaign, it claims to be the world's largest travel site. PlaceIt by Breezi


UPDATE: TripAdvisor, which was formerly part of the Expedia Inc. family, isn’t going along with Expedia’s claim of being the “world’s largest travel site,” and it sounds as though TripAdvisor hasn’t been shy about communicating its displeasure.

TripAdvisor spokesperson Desiree Fish tells Skift that TripAdvisor “takes issue” with Expedia’s claim.

“TripAdvisor’s travel community reached more than 260 million monthly unique visitors during the year ended December 31, 2013 based on worldwide data from Google Analytics,” Fish says.

“At approximately 11% of the world’s monthly unique visitors in online travel during 2013, TripAdvisor remains the largest travel website in the world, based on comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, December 2013,” Fish says.

“As such, we believe we have a fair claim to the title of the world’s largest travel site,” Fish says.

Is TripAdvisor taking any action?

“We will make sure that others, like you, know we are the world’s largest,” Fish says.

Prior to TripAdvisor’s retort, Expedia spokesperson Sarah Gavin said the “world’s largest” claim was specific to the Expedia brand in comparison to “other full-service OTAs selling multiple major travel lines of business.”

By Expedia’s definition that would preclude TripAdvisor from consideration as the world’s largest travel site since it is not an online travel agency.

Still, Expedia’s advertisements hold the brand up as the “world’s largest travel site.”

Expedia might want to tweak the wording of its boast.

The original post follows: 

Expedia.com has been a very active advertiser in the U.S. in February, and its latest ads claim that Expedia is the “world’s largest travel site.”

That would seem to conflict with the claims of TripAdvisor, which was part of Expedia Inc. until it spun out and became a public company in its own right in late 2011.

TripAdvisor frequently refers to itself as the “world’s largest online travel company,” and stakes its claim based on the 260 million monthly unique visitors that comScore Media Metrix counted as of December 31, 2013.

Expedia also turns to comScore Media Metrix for validation of its “largest” claim, but seems to eliminate TripAdvisor from consideration because Expedia is only counting “other full-service online travel agencies.”

Expedia Inc. counts its sites, including Expedia.com, Hotwire, Trivago, Venere and others, as the largest full-service online travel agency based on a comScore Media Metrix October 2012 to September 2013 worldwide traffic report.

TripAdvisor in this lens wouldn’t be considered a full-service online travel agency because it is primarily a hotel review and media site, and doesn’t handle bookings like an online travel agency.

Expedia can parse the numbers as it wishes for its latest ad campaign.

By another measure, market cap, Expedia ($10 billion) trails both Priceline ($65.83 billion) and TripAdvisor ($14.22 billion) as of February 16.

Here’s one of Expedia.com’s recent ads in which it claims at the very end to be the “world’s largest travel site:”

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