Red Lion Hotels is obviously a much smaller chain than a Hilton Worldwide or Marriott International. Still, Red Lion's deal to offer its member-only rates on Expedia.com and Hotels.com represents the start of some shifting in the direct-booking landscape. Expedia is a powerful force in hotel distribution and there will be more of these changes to come.
By increasing its dividend, Expedia management has put its money where its mouth is in expressing confidence about the future of the company. The takeaway: Expedia officials believe its second quarter stumble was an aberration.
If only more startup founders would realize this: As Rich Barton says, most startups don't know how to execute on their visions. That is the big difference maker. Talk and ideas are cheap but execution and having the team to carry it through is what it's all about.
If Expedia is successful in turning its Trivago hotel-metasearch unit into a public company in 2016, it would be the second time Expedia has monetized an asset in such a way in five years. Expedia shareholders made a ton of money when Expedia spun out TripAdvisor in 2011.
There are innumerable factors that impact the health of the travel industry but the latest U.S. government numbers on retail spending lead to the conclusion that consumer spending habits are changing. There is a shift in emphasis from purchasing consumer goods toward buying services such as travel. That's a classic tailwind and a very healthy trend indeed for the gamut of leisure-travel businesses.
There's so much excitement and anticipation around messaging and artificial intelligence that Priceline and Expedia CEOs' remarks remind us that this emerging technology is still too new to gauge regarding potential success. Still, CEOs of both companies seem pleased with how messaging has performed so far.
Expedia is scaling back the design of its new Seattle headquarters but it isn't a contradiction for it to look for new digs in London as the company seeks to jumpstart expansion in Europe. The company is being prudent, not reckless.
Priceline Group Interim CEO Jeffery Boyd is too much of a gentleman and a professional to get into a public shouting match with his hotel-chain partners. Still, behind the scenes, he doesn't intend to sit back and let hotel chains withhold their lowest rates without taking retaliatory steps.
Breaking up is hard to do but when it comes to mergers, the stakes can be very high and the challenges acutely complex. It's really hard to find someone who will argue that Expedia's acquisition spree will be its undoing but success will take focus and certainly isn't guaranteed.
Egencia is leveraging the tech-savvy of its parent Expedia Inc. to compete at a high level in the corporate travel space. It has a real competitive advantage against other travel management companies, which have begun to pivot from providing travel services to developing travel technology solutions to solve the problems that travel buyers and agents can't.