Online travel giants Expedia Group and Booking Holdings disbursed a record $11 billion on marketing in 2019, up from $10.6 billion the year before.
The difference is that one company grew its marketing spend in 2019 and the other company essentially remained flat.
Under its “selling and marketing” line item, Expedia Group reported a 6% increase from $5.567 billion in 2018 to $6.03 billion in 2019.
The Seattle-based online travel agency spent $5.22 billion under that category in 2017.
Booking Holdings maintained virtually the same marketing expenses, going from $4.96 billion in 2018 to $4.97 billion in 2019.
Google – essentially a competitor in online travel – is the largest recipient of the OTAs’ customer acquisition expenses.
The rise of Google as a powerhouse in online travel also explains the discrepancies in spending.
“Due to Google pushing its travel listing feature into the search results page in recent times, Expedia’s top-ranked organic links that essentially generate free traffic are pushed down the page further,” writes a self-described tech veteran/analyst on Seeking Alpha who goes by the username Tech and Growth.
Read Original Article