Opaque bookings on the wane: Priceline, Hotwire, and a changing landscape
Priceline built its business in 1998 on opaque bookings, or buyer-driven pricing.
But the supply of opaque deals appears to be shrinking for it and all players in the industry, according to Tnooz interviews. But a survey of bids shows the steepest discounts are still available on Priceline.
Increasingly difficult market
There’s no authoritative market research on the total market for opaque or semi-opaque bookings, let alone anyone tracking a relative decline.
Alek Vernitsky, the CEO who pulled his startup GetGoing out of opaque sales earlier this year, gives the most plausible estimate Tnooz has heard, namely, that opaque accounts for 2% to 4% of total US online sales.