Rentalcars will join Booking.com and forge ‘BookingGo’ brand
After Ctrip's plan to create a full-service travel platform with its recently acquired Trip.com under Skyscanner, the Priceline Group may also be tapping into the same idea.
ChinaTravelNews has learned that the Priceline Group plans to integrate two of its subsidiary brands - Rentalcars and Booking.com - to set up "the world’s largest digital platform for experiences".
Beginning in 2018, Rentalcars.com will join Booking.com, creating ‘BookingGo’ – a dedicated global ground transport business unit of Booking.com, according to an external letter that Rentalcars has sent to its B2B partners. The company noted that this is "an internal transition" and there will be "no changes to existing partnerships".
Founded in 2004 and formerly known as "TravelJigsaw", Rentalcars was acquired by the Priceline Group in 2010 and then renamed "Rentalcars". The Rentalcars service comprises of consumer-facing car rentals, airport transfer chauffeur unit Rideways and B2B brand Rentalcars Connect.
The company centered on its B2B distribution in the China market and works with local online travel agencies, it also planned to extend its services to more Chinese partners with large customer bases in industries like banking and airlines. The company has so far partnered with more than 90 airlines worldwide.
ChinaTravelNews learned that Rentalcars Connect will merge with Booking.com's B2B operation while the consumer-facing Rentalcars brand will remain. Booking.com has been testing flight, car rental and restaurant reservations on its platform since earlier this year.
The company has stated in an external FAQ file:
"For Rentalcars (BookingGo), the strategy is to build a global, market-leading, frictionless ground transport platform...For Booking.com, the strategy is to become the world’s largest digital platform for experiences – with transport being a key component of the travel experience and an area where Booking.com has already been testing."
Ctrip acquired the Trip.com last month to kickstart the initiative of building a one-stop full-service travel booking platform. Now it seems that the Priceline Group is interested in doing a similar thing.