Booking Holdings‘ first quarter results include, as you’d expect, some pretty big numbers – such as gross bookings of $25 billion, nearly 200 million room nights booked, a 33% increase in net income to $607.2 million.
But on the earnings call with analysts, CEO Glenn Fogel was keen to point out that, in terms of its global market share, Booking Holdings was still relatively small.
He said: “We believe that the travel market remains healthy and we continue to orient ourselves to the long run. We have a single-digit market share in the very large global accommodations market and an even lower market share in the total travel market.”
The synching of “the total travel market” with “the long run” into a single soundbite, which was part of Fogel’s prepared remarks, paved the way for more hints about Booking Holdings’ move into areas other than accommodation.
Booking Holdings does sell some non-accommodation inventory which is often lost in the sheer scale of its room nights business. It sold 18.7 million car rental days and 1.8 million airline tickets between Jan and March this year. Its online restaurant reservations site OpenTable doesn’t get a lot of attention in the financials, but seats more than 24m diners a month.
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