Kayak ploughs ahead with international expansion as travel search gets super hot
Priceline-owned Kayak has already recently launched in Australia and the Netherlands with local sites expected for Belgium, Ireland, Mexico, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore in the next two weeks.
The company says it plans to continue its march across Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific but the juxtaposition of the two announcements will not go unnoticed by many in metasearch circles.
Some may feel sympathy for Kayak and its apparently lacklustre performance in Europe when compared with Skyscanner, although in the US the latter is still jostling for position.
That said, Kayak’s European launches to date have not been as successful as some might have expected, especially in the UK and a question remains over how the company plans to make these new territories work.
Back in May 2010, it also acquired Germany’s largest travel search service, Swoodoo, saying it planned to maintain both brands and it would have a clear leadership position in the country.
Although Kayak has consistently declined to comment on local numbers and marketing strategy, Priceline’s marketing expertise and global footprint were hotly tipped to help Kayak boost its growth following the $1.8 billion acquisition last year.
On this latest expansion announcement chief executive and co-founder Steve Hafner says:
“It took our team four years to reach our first eight markets. We’re now equipped to move much faster and plan to continue expanding in 2014.”
But, there’s still no detail on how the company might do this, with officials remaining relatively tight-lipped and talking only in terms of an ability under the new ownership to accelerate growth.
It could be that it plans to spend its way into consumers’ minds through further television advertising or perhaps, like Priceline and sister-brand Booking.com, it will invest massively in pay-per-click ads on Google.
The brand might be planning a combination of the above as well as perhaps, some other clever technique up its sleeve, maybe even a big mobile push, but in true Kayak-style, it’s refusing to spill.
NB: Space image via Shutterstock
Linda Fox is a reporter for Tnooz. For the past six years she has worked as a freelance journalist across a range of B2B titles including Travolution, ABTA Magazine, Travelmole and the Business Travel Magazine.
In this time she has also undertaken corporate projects for a number of high profile travel technology, travel management and research companies.
Prior to her freelance career she covered hotels and technology news for Travel Trade Gazette for seven years. Linda joined TTG from Caterer & Hotelkeeper where she worked on the features desk for more than five years.