The Wall Street Journal report pretty much says it all: At $6.9 billion, Expedia is now worth 40% less than TripAdvisor, which is worth more than $11billion.
How did TripAdvisor, a recent former subsidiary of Expedia, pull off such a gain when just a year and a half ago, it was an Expedia holding?
Hotelmarketing quite correctly reports that TripAdvisor, in its nimble ways, redesigned its website to show shoppers “more hotel options” side-by-side with its traveler reviews, “rather than referring them to sites like Expedia’s via pop-up windows,” which it did in the past.
Expedia is still the world’s largest online travel agency, however.
The deeper point, of course, is that TripAdvisor’s shift caught a rising trend in travel, as travelers increasingly plan their trips using sites that aggregate offerings from many different online travel sources.
What’s especially interesting is that Google queries for TripAdvisor surpass those for expedia by 50%…a stark departure from two years ago when Expedia out-pulled searches for its then-subsidiary by at least double.
Google of course competes with TripAdvisor in the travel space, and is still trying for the kind of traction that will take it to the top of the game.
The movement toward aggregation or “metasearch” and the use of “Big Data” shows little signs of abating.
The “take away?” As Diginomica reports, the online travel sector has matured to the point where competition is fierce resulting in the need to spend ever more money advertising a brand. Which, as we see it, means we, the traveler, pay more money for travel goods and services!