8 years ago

Expedia’s Khosrowshahi: Metasearch forever

crown2Expedia Inc. historically has dabbled less in metasearch than Orbitz Worldwide and some of its other online travel agency competitors, but CEO Dara Khosrowshahi now is bullish on the channel.

“We’ll play in metasearch and we think metasearch will be around forever,” Khosrowshahi told attendees at Citi’s 20th Annual Global Entertainment, Media & Telecommunications Conference in San Francisco Jan. 5.

At the advent of travel metasearch several years ago, the channel was widely seen as a supplier medium that might bring the OTAs to their knees, but much has changed since then.

Khosrowshahi says metasearch is not one of Expedia’s top 3 channels, but it’s an important one.

And, he doesn’t view metasearch as competition, although he’d rather, of course, get direct traffic.

Expedia’s TripAdvisor launched flight metasearch early in 2009, and Khosrowshahi says he forsees “quite significant growth” from the metasearch channel — not just from TripAdvisor’s flight metasearch — in 2010 and 2011.

Khosrowshahi says metasearch has been a “fairly efficient” channel for Expedia, and the OTA will take advantage of it, partipating up to the level that the company’s efficiency metrics allow.

When Expedia eliminated air booking fees and other OTAs followed, there was a school of thought that flight metasearch was dead because there now was parity with airline websites and not much differentiation.

But, if you listen to Khosrowshahi, then the Kayaks and Travelsupermarkets of this world have a few good days ahead of them.

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Dennis Schaal

About the Writer :: Dennis Schaal

Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.



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  1. Roland Obermeier

    So much for the skeptics… I remember one fancy article stating ‘metasearch is dead’…

    Study the subject and developments now since about 5 years and finally some people seem to wake up.

  2. Travel Observer

    Is he pumping it up in advance of acquiring Kayak?

  3. Always Outbound

    That’s interesting to hear. I wonder how Bing Travel or Google’s foray into travel search will impact Expedia or Orbitz.

    I have started to use Bing more for US travel, while relying on Kayak/Orbitz/TripAdvisor for international travel. If Bing gets better internationally, that might alter the balance for international travel as well. Of course, if Google offers a better alternative, I’ll look into that as well.


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