Booking and KAYAK interweave while Expedia and Booking remain industry titans

6 June, 2019

Booking Holdings continues to grow its brands, and has recently worked to create links between its KAYAK and OpenTable platforms. Prior to becoming Booking Holdings, Priceline acquired OpenTable in 2014 following a USD1.8 billion acquisition of KAYAK in 2012. In 2018 Priceline rebranded as Booking Holdings and its portfolio includes, KAYAK, Priceline, Agoda, and OpenTable.

In a recent report entitled 'Public Online Travel Roundup, Full Year 2018', travel research firm Phocuswright stated that although Booking has integrated the OpenTable team into KAYAK, the two brands remain individual units of their parent company. But now OpenTable points can be used for hotel discounts on KAYAK.

Users of OpenTable dining points that have accumulated 1,000 points or more can redeem them for up to USD200 for hotels booked through KAYAK. According to Skift, Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel called the redemption tie-up small and experimental, "but I like it".

As Booking works to leverage some level of synergies across its platforms, Phocuswright's online travel roundup showed "growth rates in the world of public online travel once again slowed in 2018, but remained in double-digit territory, rising more than twice as fast as the total global travel market".

Offering insight into OTA trends by region, Phocuswright determines that online travel agencies in the Asia Pacific represented more than one-third of global gross bookings fuelled by China's Ctrip.

In Latin America, mobile will continue to be a top focus for Buenos Aires-based Despgar, said Phocuswright. However, "offline channels remain an important distribution channel, as call centre gross bookings are still increasing", the report stated.

In Europe, the combined growth of eDreams and Imgroup remained stagnant in 2018 with a single share of gross bookings, due to the European OTA market feeling increasing pressure from Booking and Expedia.

Room nights at titans Expedia and Booking grew at a more modest rate in 2018, Phocuwright concluded. But both companies are committed to working towards a seamless "interweaving of instantly bookable rental listings".