Priorities for metasearch – Skyscanner and Swoodoo say booking way down the list
The chatter generated by Kayak when it announced it is considering adding a booking element into its model appears not to have inspired others to think the same.
But whereas the topic was rarely mentioned before, such was the determination by metasearch players to keep the model simple, it is now, by virtue of Kayak‘s move, getting some air time.
Take Skyscanner co-founder and chief executive Gareth Williams. He acknowledges the huge implications such a move by Kayak could have on the marketplace.
Is Skyscanner ruling it out?
Ask any metasearch player just two years ago if booking was an option they would consider and the answer would’ve been dismissed.
Not any more – Kayak appears to have changed many of its rivals’ thinking. Williams now says booking is “on the list” of things to do.
He quickly adds the caveat that the company needs “to get search right first”.
Christian Saller, CEO of Swoodoo, admits that booking is actually “something we discuss now all the time”.
So from fiercely defending the metasearch model for years (almost the reverse of Cheapflights and its proud defence of price comparison until the launch of Zugu), in a short space of time the market has changed its thinking once again.
Kevin May is a senior editor and one of the co-founders at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and will be publishing his first book - a biography about electronic band, Depeche Mode - soon.