Like many successful companies, Hostelworld resolves to win by maintaining its focus on what it does best: Selling hostels. Its big challenge is to generate more awareness about the modern and socially oriented hostel while larger players like Airbnb and Booking.com suck the air out of Google.
Buying TripAdvisor would be a very large -- albeit relatively cheap -- acquisition given its current stock price. One very significant impediment, especially for Priceline, is the fact that Liberty TripAdvisor Holdings, which has historic ties to Barry Diller's Expedia, controls TripAdvisor. Still, for the right price, Liberty would have to consider a sale of its prized asset as TripAdvisor goes through a very challenging and prolonged transition.
Brett Keller, Priceline.com's new interim CEO, knows his way around headquarters, having worked there for 17 years. He takes over at a critical time for the Priceline.com brand, although Booking.com is by far the Priceline Group's most important cog.
Booking.com rode the agency model, which is attractive for its lack of complexity in forging online travel agency-hotel relationships and consumer-friendliness, into the growth engine of a $68 billion business. Its executives did so by ignoring the trendiness of the crowds and sticking to their own beliefs and vision.
European tax authorities, in this case from France and Italy, continue to go after online travel agencies like Booking.com for back taxes. Booking.com is such a large company that a $400 million bill, if it actually must be paid, won't cause the company to sweat excessively.
We're not giving away all the good stuff. You still need to read the entire thing.
Two decades after the birth of online travel, more than two dozen founders and key players exclusively tell Skift how it all happened. This is a story of a history that changed the future of travel forever. Dig in, this will take a while.
TripAdvisor's new booking product leans heavily on Priceline's Booking.com — more so than TripAdvisor would probably like.
It is rare to see a company such as the Priceline Group take an impairment charge so quickly after investing. Even Priceline, in the short-term, at least, can get things wrong. Hotel Urbano needs more cash as the Brazilian economy and political system exhibited further stress, and the Zika virus took hold.
The Priceline Group is looking for a CEO who can handle disruption and big changes in technology and market conditions in coming years. Just look at the changes in the Group's accommodations mix as lodging alternatives are approaching half of the company's roster of properties.