25 Moments that Mattered in 2015: To make our selection of 25 moments, we thought back to the stories that drove reader engagement and sparked discussion among both travel experts and the general public. Some stories were quick blips that represented bigger things while others were narratives that built slowly through out the year. Each one, though, spoke to where we are right now when it comes to the big business of global travel.
When the U.S. Justice Department cleared the way for Expedia Inc. to acquire Orbitz Worldwide in September 2015, the DOJ cited the emergence of TripAdvisor Instant Booking and Google flights and hotels “with related booking functionality” as competitive counterweights to online travel agency consolidation.
Indeed, TripAdvisor is much further along than Google in becoming a booking platform but the duo likely will become a challenge for online travel agencies such as Booking.com and Expedia, as well as hotel chains, as TripAdvisor and Google siphon off bookings that might have otherwise gone directly to online travel agency and hotel websites.
Priceline Group sites Booking.com, Agoda, and Priceline.com, as well as Expedia brands, will cooperate with the TripAdvisor-Google booking trend as part of the new reality, although they would have rather seen this development fail to materialize.
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Photo credit: Marriott's hotels listed for booking on TripAdvisor. Frame