OTA big guns on what the future holds for their businesses
CEOs of Priceline and Expedia emphasize the importance of alternative accommodations, global growth and hotels. Investing in Ctrip and Meituan-Dianping also shows Priceline looks highly of China.
Wall Street analysts weren’t the only ones to weigh in on Expedia Inc. and Priceline Group’s stock prices during the recent Phocuswright Conference in Fort Lauderdale.
Glenn Fogel and Mark Okerstrom, the respective presidents and CEOs of the Priceline Group and Expedia, Inc., each took a turn on the center stage to discuss what the future holds for their travel tech businesses.
Global expansion is of equal importance to the Priceline Group, according to Fogel who specifically called out the strategic importance that his company places on China.
Priceline just made a $450 million investment in Chinese online travel agency Ctrip in October, which Fogel pointed out brings Priceline’s total investment value in Ctrip to more than $2 billion.
Priceline’s Booking.com culls its China hotel inventory from Ctrip while Ctrip users have access to deals from Booking.com and Agoda.com, Priceline’s Asia-based platform.
The symbiotic relationship between the US’ largest OTA and Ctrip became even more evident when Ctrip chief financial officer Cindy Wang told Phocuswright attendees from center stage that “Ctrip still has low market share in the hotel segment and going forward will focus on opportunities in lower tier cities” and also international growth opportunities for Chinese travelers who want to travel abroad.
Hotels are also a focal point for Expedia’s Okerstrom who noted that the company hasn’t seen any effects from the hospitality industry’s efforts to move consumers to direct bookings.
Rather, the Bellevue, Wash.-based company has benefited from the business of several hotel brands such as Red Lion Hotels, which partnered with Expedia in 2016 to attract more members to its loyalty program, Hello Rewards.
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