Online Travel Update: Online Booking Platforms Expedia Group and Booking Holdings Release Q1 Revenue Report; and groups are the latest target for alternative housing | Foster GarveyPC

Booking updates
(“Booking Holdings Reports Record Quarterly Gross Bookings of $27 Billion”, May 4, 2022 via Phocus Wire)

Thankfully, Booking Holdings didn’t hold its major partners conference last week as well. Here are my takeaways from last week’s earnings release:

  • Booking Holdings posted a record $27 billion in gross bookings in the first quarter. Nightly production continues to lag behind 2019 levels, but Booking is rapidly closing that gap. In April, Booking (like Expedia) saw the production of overnight stays exceed comparisons in the same month compared to 2019.
  • Booking continues to make progress on its “connected travel” vision, including continued growth in mobile app usage (40% of total nights now booked on the mobile app), continued diversification of its product offerings (alternative accommodations accounted for 31% of total room nights in the first quarter, with a strong push to develop this vertical in North America planned for this year), the continued growth of its airline offerings and the continued deployment of its payment platform. Interestingly, Booking has not shown much progress in adopting its payment platform, with only 34% of Booking.com bookings processed on the new platform (the adoption rates for the new platform -form slowed, as the 2021 3Q and 4Q numbers were around 30 percent).

Groups are the latest target for alternative accommodations
(“Skift Future of Lodging Forum Preview: Marriott Homes & Villas to Target Meetings and Retreats,” May 5, 2022 via Skift) (subscription may be required)

Asked about the future of group travel, I have pointed out for some time alternative accommodations and the increasingly sophisticated companies that manage and distribute these accommodations. As we continue to evolve into a workforce that wants to spend less and less time in a traditional office environment, the need for frequent small group meetings or conferences will continue to grow, as will the need for unique accommodations to support them. As I’ve been saying for a while now, alternative housing might be uniquely positioned for this new group phenomenon. Marriott apparently agrees.

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Other news:

Sensible Weather Heats Up With $12M Round, Plans Travel Guarantee Tools Expansion
May 4, 2022 via Phocus Wire
Climate tech start-up Sensible Weather secured another major investment of $12 million, just five months after a previous round. Series A is led by Infinity Ventures, with participation from Certares Ventures and previous backers Wonder Ventures and Group1001.

Tripadvisor Appoints Matt Goldberg, Head of Media, as CEO Effective July 1
May 4, 2022 via Phocus Wire
Matt Goldberg, a veteran media executive who was CEO of Lonely Planet from 2009 to 2013, will become CEO of Tripadvisor from July 1, succeeding co-founder Steve Kaufer who announced in November that he would step down.

One in five Airbnb stays longer than 28 days, revenue hits $1.5 billion for Q1 2022
May 3, 2022 via Phocus Wire
Airbnb’s revenue hit $1.5 billion for the January-March period for the first time in the company’s history. The US home-sharing and alternative accommodation giant saw revenue grow 70% year-on-year, up 80% from the corresponding quarter in 2019 ($839 million), before its introduction on public markets.

Airbnb’s Next Big Change: Search
May 3, 2022 via Skift (subscription may be required)
Airbnb reported a big quarter of earnings on Tuesday and as part of that, also hinted at a big change coming to its product next week: a complete overhaul of how people search on its service.

New hotel booking platform lets customers offset carbon emissions at checkout
May 2, 2022 via Phocus Wire
Wayaj – one of PhocusWire’s 25 Hot Startups for 2021 – has launched a new hotel booking engine called Alight.travel that allows travelers to book sustainable hotels and calculate and offset their carbon emissions at checkout.

Google improves trip planning tools as travel searches soar
May 2, 2022 via Phocus Wire
Google is rolling out new features to help consumers plan a trip — or start dreaming about one — as searches for travel-related queries surpass pre-pandemic levels.

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