Expedia Inc. s chief executive officer is expecting more company in the world of online travel booking, predicting Facebook Inc. will follow Google into the business.Facebook is already working on e-commerce, letting users save their payment information on the social media giant s site and purchase products they see advertised there directly through buy buttons.
Google now lets users book trips and lodging directly through its search engine, a feature the U.S. Justice Department cited when it approved Expedia s takeover of Orbitz last year, saying Google was increasing competition.The development would bring both risks and opportunities for Expedia and rivals, Khosrowshahi said.
For years, hotel companies have tried to find ways to drive more sales through their own websites so they can avoid the premiums paid to the likes of Priceline and Expedia when customers book lodgings and trips through them.If Facebook pushes into travel booking it will most likely follow Google s lead, building a tool that lets hotel chains and online travel agents show up in search results on the social network, Dan Wasiolek, an analyst with Morningstar Inc., said in an interview.
This new targeted advertising platform in theory is supposed to offer a better way to target travelers when they re planning a trip and when they re in the destination, Henry Harteveldt, founder of the travel industry research firm Atmosphere Research Group, said in an interview.Travel companies including Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Air France-KLM are using Facebook s Messenger application to talk to customers.
So is Expedia, said John Morrey, vice president and general manager of Expedia U.S. That s another area that Facebook could expand its presence in, Harteveldt said, either by getting more companies to do business on Messenger or building its own booking tool in the app.Expedia, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last week, went on a $6 billion acquisition spree in 2015 by buying Orbitz and vacation rental company HomeAway.
Startups like GetYourGuide GmbH, Vayable Inc. and Peek Travel Inc. have raised venture capital for their own tour-booking websites and applications.