Expedia Group withdrew from its biggest bet in China in 2015 when it sold its majority stake in eLong, which had been a drain on profits for a decade, to rival Ctrip for $671 million. But the U.S.-based online travel agency hasn’t abandoned the region.
Although not as flashy as Booking Holdings investments in China’s Ctrip ($1.3 billion), ridehailing service Didi Chuxing ($500 million), and e-commerce platform Meituan-Dianping ($450 million), Expedia is taking a multifaceted approach to Asia Pacific that includes a $350 million investment in Indonesia booking site Traveloka; a sizable and behind-the-scenes affiliate business powering hotel bookings for online travel agencies, offline travel agencies, and airlines; as well as building the Expedia and Hotels.com brands in the region.
At the time, Okerstrom said the Expedia brand has built strong positions in Japan and Hong Kong, and is growing in Taiwan and South Korea.
On the inventory front, Expedia is playing catch-up with rival Booking Holdings in East Asia (Japan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau), where Booking has a 27 percent property-count advantage, according to Skift Research. Expedia, though, has a 6 percent edge in Southeast Asia.
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