They faded away for awhile, but in recent years travel metasearch has come back in force and is hot, hot, hot. Witness Expedia’s majority stake in Trivago, Priceline’s still-pending acquisition of Kayak, and Expedia and Concur’s investment in Room 77 (see below).
Everyone wants to be the Kayak of flights, the Kayak of hotels, or even the Kayak of car-shopping or health insurance.
Qunar already is the Kayak of China — or maybe Kayak is the Qunar of the U.S.
There are numerous travel-metasearch sites and apps that have been hanging on for years: Skyscanner (2003), Mobissimo (2004), Hotelscombined (2005), Bing Travel (acquired Farecast in 2008), and Travelzoo’s Fly.com (2009).
Here, above in the gallery, are 10 relatively recent travel startups, or established players with new metasearch offerings, that want to out-paddle Kayak.