Ever wondered how Booking Holdings thinks about acquisitions and growth more widely? It’s recent purchase of tours and activities tech company FareHarbor offers some clues.
The team has moved to Amsterdam to report into the booking.com leadership team and effectively now drives tours and activities for the brand, according to Todd Henrich, senior vice president corporate development for Booking Holdings.
He was speaking at the EyeforTravel Europe conference in London last week and shared some thoughts on the company’s approach.
“That could be anything for a small entrepreneurial acqui-hire team to several million dollars worth. We’re looking largely for capabilities. We don’t generally look to acquire scale as we have plenty of scale on our own.”
“The FareHarbor example was a great one where we thought it was a great team but what really attracted us was that they were willing to get up and move to Amsterdam because they wanted to be part of the organisation.”
An obvious question from moderator Paul Richer, senior partner of Genesys Digital Transformation, was whether the company thinks it can compete with Airbnb. Henrich says:
“We absolutely think we can. We have five million properties in that category now. We certainly don’t have the brand recognition that Airbnb has, they created the category but, we have a couple of advantages in terms of having it all in one place. While the Airbnb brand is great you also want to compare the cost if it’s two hotel rooms or one flat.
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