TripAdvisor's new booking product leans heavily on Priceline's Booking.com — more so than TripAdvisor would probably like.
Last week we launched the latest report in our Skift Trends Reports service, A Deep Dive Into TripAdvisor’s Competitive Position in Travel.
Below is a new chart related to the report’s findings. Get the full report here to stay ahead of this trend.
TripAdvisor didn’t say much about the Priceline partnership during its first quarter 2016 earnings call. Nor did it disclose too many details on Instant Booking, at least in terms of overall contributions to the top line. Yet, the partnership remains critical to the future success of Instant Booking, as well as TripAdvisor’s overall positioning within the online travel ecosystem.
In order to gauge the relative dependence of Instant Booking on Priceline inventory, we checked over 200 listings on TripAdvisor’s hotel search page. We found that over half of Trip’s Instant Booking listings remain sponsored by Booking.com.
The presence of Booking.com inventory has been more pronounced for European listings – likely because Europe’s hotel landscape remains more fragmented. TripAdvisor has managed to integrate most of the big hotel chains into Instant Booking. The bigger challenge will be the independents.
Why is this significant? Because some big questions still remain about the TripAdvisor/Priceline arrangement. Is this a temporary marriage of convenience, or is this part of a longer term strategy and deepening relationship between the two brands? How will TripAdvisor wean itself off Booking.com inventory? Is TRIP making progress with growing its independently branded inventory? When (if ever) will Trip let other OTAs participate in Instant Booking?
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Photo credit: TripAdvisor's Instant Booking product on mobile. Skift