Booking Sites

Expedia Tries to Read Traveler Minds by Wiring Up Volunteers

Expedia Tries to Read Traveler Minds by Wiring Up Volunteers

Jeremy Kahn, Bloomberg

Last summer, Expedia opened a user-experience lab in London, similar to the one at its headquarters in Bellevue, Washington. While a reporter researches a trip, a computer tracks their eye movement and electromyography sensors track their facial reactions.

2 days ago

CEO Interview: On The Beach’s Flexible Approach to Selling Holidays

CEO Interview: On The Beach’s Flexible Approach to Selling Holidays

Patrick Whyte, Skift

While plenty of European travel companies have struggled to cope in a difficult operating environment, On the Beach has prospered. In an uncertain world, its flexible approach to holidays means that it is able to take advantage without some of the risk that others face.

2 days ago

Stay Alfred Raises $15 Million to Bring Hotel Service to Short-Term Rentals: Travel Startup Funding This Week

Stay Alfred Raises $15 Million to Bring Hotel Service to Short-Term Rentals: Travel Startup Funding This Week

Sean O'Neill, Skift

Stay Alfred's $15 million Series A funding may pale next to the roughly $3 billion that Airbnb has raised. But the company — which services apartment rentals and aims for hotel-quality service — is part of a thriving wave of vendors providing an ecosystem of services around short-term urban rentals.

3 days ago

Expedia and TripAdvisor Separately Kill 2 Brands That Were Once Sister Companies

Expedia and TripAdvisor Separately Kill 2 Brands That Were Once Sister Companies

Dennis Schaal, Skift

In 2008, Venere became Expedia's great hope in Europe to play catch-up and take on Booking.com's dominance. Whether it was a lack of execution or Booking.com's scale advantages being too imposing to overcome, that dynamic never came to fruition.

2 weeks ago

Exclusive: Viator Officials Depart as TripAdvisor Installs Vacation Rental Execs as Replacements

Exclusive: Viator Officials Depart as TripAdvisor Installs Vacation Rental Execs as Replacements

Dennis Schaal, Skift

TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer has decided to make dramatic changes in the leadership of the company's attractions business, and that's not unusual for an acquiring company. Still, the move to import executives from the company's vacation rentals business to run a leading tours and activities business isn't exactly being welcomed with open arms by the rank and file.

2 weeks ago

TripAdvisor Instant Booking: Testing, Learning and Confusing

TripAdvisor Instant Booking: Testing, Learning and Confusing

Dennis Schaal, Skift

Operators of online travel websites, if they know what they are doing, never finish testing and learning, and always consider their products works in progress. TripAdvisor officials are obviously in no hurry to settle Instant Booking into a consistent user interface that won't confuse the hell out of consumers because they want to perfect it first. Public company or not, they are in no rush despite investor impatience.

3 weeks ago

Skift Backstage Podcast: Google Travel VP on the Power of Virtual and Augmented Reality

Skift Backstage Podcast: Google Travel VP on the Power of Virtual and Augmented Reality

Hannah Sampson, Skift

Tune in to hear about Google's recent moves and future ambitions for travel.

1 month ago

Indian Booking Site Yatra Begins Trading on NASDAQ Exchange After Reverse Merger

Indian Booking Site Yatra Begins Trading on NASDAQ Exchange After Reverse Merger

Shashidhar KJ, MediaNama

Yatra debuted on Nasdaq through a reverse merger, as opposed to an initial public offering, and thus didn't draw the attention that Trivago's much larger transaction did last week. Yatra isn't emerging from the transaction with a big war chest, either: The net proceeds are essentially going toward completing its previously announced merger with Terrapin 3 Acquisition Corp.

1 month ago

Airbnb Flights: Should It Build, Buy or Borrow an Airline Booking Service?

Airbnb Flights: Should It Build, Buy or Borrow an Airline Booking Service?

Dennis Schaal, Skift

A prudent strategy for Airbnb might be to initially partner with an online travel agency in an affiliate relationship so it can access flights for its customers. In that way, Airbnb could test whether its users want to book flights on the site without taking the big risks involved in making a large acquisition, which could always come later.

1 month ago

Expedia Finally Joins TripAdvisor Instant Booking

Expedia Finally Joins TripAdvisor Instant Booking

Dennis Schaal, Skift

TripAdvisor has been struggling but it is a testament to its continued power as a marketing vehicle that Expedia Inc. felt compelled to participate in TripAdvisor Instant Booking even though Expedia controls its own TripAdvisor wannabe. It's called Trivago. A newly anointed public company, Trivago's growth could one day be an Expedia hedge against TripAdvisor's clout, although Trivago isn't there yet.

1 month ago

Airbnb Is Flush With the Money It’s Making Outside the United States

Airbnb Is Flush With the Money It’s Making Outside the United States

Patrick Whyte, Skift

As a private company Airbnb isn't required to publicly disclose much when it comes to its finances. What is clear from analysing the accounts of Airbnb Payments UK Ltd., however, is just how much money is swilling about the company.

1 month ago

Airbnb Is Really Building A Flight Search Engine, May Buy An Online Booking Site For It

Airbnb Is Really Building A Flight Search Engine, May Buy An Online Booking Site For It

Olivia Zaleski and Gerrit De Vynck, Bloomberg

Turns out it is more than a trial balloon, after the announcement of possible flight search at Airbnb Open last month. The margins are tiny in flight search, not sure why it would be better than any other OTA, other than it has lots of traffic coming to Airbnb.

1 month ago