Stay deep or go wide? Online travel companies from Expedia to Airbnb and Booking.com are grappling with these issues. Focusing on core products can clearly be a winning formula, but when you are a public company, pressure to generate growth from new areas is a constant conundrum.
Online Travel This Week
Expedia Group closed its offline Expedia Local Expert business, which for years had agents sitting at desks in destinations such as Honolulu and Orlando hawking tours and activities, as well as ground transportation.
In breaking the news of Expedia shuttering its brick and mortar tours and activities' business, Arival noted that the offline component had likely had been responsible for about half of Expedia's experiences business, pegged in 2018 at more than $500 million in sales, and that the online "things to do" feature will stay operational.
"While we remain committed to the activities sector and will continue to offer activities for purchase online, as these experiences enrich and add value to any customer trip, this move, while difficult, is a necessary one," Expedia told Skift Wednesday.
Covid-19 and the subsequent collapse of tourism in destinations such as Hawaii and Florida contributed to the demise of Expedia Local Expert, but the closure is also part of Expedia Group's year-long effort to cut the bloat, and streamline the far-flung offerings of what the company boastfully calls "the