Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at Expedia's altered outlook, Booking Holdings' connected trip success, and the fight for privacy at U.S. airports.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

Listen to the day’s top travel stories in under four minutes every weekday.

Learn More

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, May 3. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

Listen Now

🎧 Subscribe

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Overcast | Google Podcasts | Amazon Podcasts

Episode Notes

Expedia Group has trimmed its 2024 outlook for growth due to its vacation rental brand Vrbo’s slower-than-expected recovery, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill. 

O’Neill reports Expedia Group’s first-quarter profit margins were mostly in line with last year. But the company acknowledged that the struggles of Vrbo and Hotels.com drove it to lower its full-year guidance. A tech migration that brought together all of Expedia Group’s major brands hasn’t yet paid off. 

In addition, incoming CEO Ariane Gorin said changes to Hotels.com’s loyalty program contributed to the brand’s sluggish performance. 

Next, one of Booking Holdings’ big goals is selling “connected trips,” where travelers book, for example, a flight, accommodation and attraction. Booking Holdings executives say they’ve seen modest growth in these “connected transactions,” reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal. 

CEO Glenn Fogel said during its first-quarter earnings call that those connected transactions rose over 50% from last year, albeit off a low base Fogel added that the company has seen strong growth in the sales of attractions and rental cars as part of connected transactions. 

However, Schaal writes Booking Holdings’ goal of a connected trip won’t become reality in the next few years — if it ever does. More than 90% of travelers use Booking Holdings platforms solely to book a flight, car rental, attraction or accommodation. 

Finally, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators is calling for the restriction of facial recognition at U.S. airports, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam. 

A letter to the Senate leadership said that the biometric technology commonly used at airports poses a significant threat to civil liberties. More than 80 U.S. airports use the technology with plans to expand to more than 400. The senators want to add restrictions on biometric technology to the bill that would authorize funding for the Federal Aviation Administration. 

However, the U.S. Travel Association has come out in favor of expanded facial recognition. 

Producer/Presenter: Jane Alexander

smartphone

The Daily Newsletter

Our daily coverage of the global travel industry. Written by editors and analysts from across Skift’s brands.

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: airport, biometrics, booking holdings, expedia, expedia group, glenn fogel, senate, skift podcast, vrbo

Up Next

Loading next stories