Booking.com is thrashing Expedia in Europe, says survey
Devitt surveyed 120 hotel executives who manage booking channels at chain hotels and independent hotels in Britain, France, Germany, and Spain.
His survey found Booking.com drives 47% of European online travel agency (OTA) bookings—better than Expedia’s 21% role.
Here’s Devitt’s take:
The predominant response on why hotels utilize Booking.com more than other online travel agencies is its larger customer base and higher website traffic.
Additionally, hotels find Booking.com’s extranet technology easier to use in terms of updating pricing and availability than other online travel agencies.
We are encouraged that Booking.com slightly increased its share in the European OTA market amidst the launch of a new product by its closest competitor (Expedia Traveler Preference), which directly competes with Booking.com’s agency hotel model.
Previously, Expedia predominantly focused on merchant hotel bookings in Europe and only provided an agency offering through Venere.
The fragmentation of Booking.com’s supplier base has served as an important competitive advantage. Booking.com offers over 310,000 hotels, with 25 different property types, while Expedia offers over 200K hotels.
By focusing on smaller, independent hotels, Booking.com has become a meaningful percentage of bookings for these hotels and a very important distribution partner.
Expedia’s higher exposure to hotel chains makes it more susceptible to the risk of a lower take rate during periods of strong occupancy.
Of the 38% of survey respondents who are testing or currently using Expedia’s Traveler Preference program, 60% expressed satisfaction with the product, mainly due to the ease of ETP integration with their reservation system.
According to our survey, Booking.com is one of the lowest distribution cost partners for hotels while Expedia.com charges the highest distribution cost. The majority of Expedia’s European business is still merchant and therefore Expedia burdens an incremental 2-3% credit card processing fee, which explains why it charges a higher commission.
Sean O’Neill is the Editor-in-Chief of Tnooz and is based in southern New Jersey, in the US.
Before joining us, Sean was a regular contributor to BBC Travel, a senior editor of BudgetTravel.com, and an associate editor at Kiplinger’s magazine.
Follow him on Twitter (@sean_oneill).