The online travel booking game in Europe is about to get really interesting
Despite the rate parity, in recent years there have been plenty of pricing disparities, irregularities, and promotions to make comparison shopping worthwhile.
Despite contracts between hotel chains and online travel agencies that mandate all distributors get the same room rates as displayed on the hotels’ own websites, in recent years there have been plenty of pricing disparities, irregularities, and promotions to make comparison shopping worthwhile.
But the news from Europe this week that Booking.com, the leading online hotel player, has reached a proposed agreement with regulatory authorities in France, Italy, and Sweden that would enable hotels to give one room rate to Booking.com and a lower or higher one to competitors could turn out to be one of the biggest shots in the arm to travel metasearch players such as TripAdvisor, Trivago, Kayak, Skyscanner, Hipmunk, Hotelscombined, and Cheapflights since their creation.
Of course, the Priceline Group acquiring Kayak for around $2 billion in 2013 and Expedia Inc. following along and obtaining a majority stake in Trivago for $632 million were huge developments, too.