7 Things Priceline’s Jeffery Boyd Changed About the Business of Travel
With the announcement that Jeffery Boyd will cede his CEO role at Priceline in January, and now that Priceline has officially overtaken Expedia in gross bookings, it’s worth looking back at how Boyd helped change the world of travel in his 14 years at Priceline.
1. Booking Basics
On the best online travel sites booking a hotel has been streamlined, and there is now more choice for travelers in how to do it. Virtually the entire online travel world has copied the way Booking.com, which Boyd’s Priceline acquired in 2005, informs travelers about how many people are viewing a hotel right now, when the last hotel booking for a property took place, and that there are no cancellation fees for certain bookings.
Travelers have been given more choice on whether to prepay for a room, pay at the hotel, or stay at an apartment, hostel, vacation rental, or B&B instead of a hotel. Because Booking.com exclusively uses the pay-at-the-hotel model, Expedia began offering it as an option last year, ending its near-total reliance on the prepaid, merchant model.
2. Hotels, Hotels, Hotels
Priceline and Booking.com weren’t the first online travel companies to see the lucrative potential of the hotel business: Hotels.com and Expedia did that. But Boyd and Booking.com showed how focusing on the agency business model, taking a lower commission (at first, at least), and scaling a business by becoming one of Google’s largest search engine marketing customers, could lead to wildfire-like global growth.