Does Google Trips Pose A Serious Challenge To Priceline Or Expedia?

by Trefis Team
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Though Google’s entry into tourism bookings might indicate a future expansion into online travel booking, given their current positions in the travel industry, the two OTA giants do not have too much to fear as of now.

Recently, Google introduced a tourism booking mobile application called Google Trips. The application aims to make the traveling process smooth by consolidating the flight, hotel itineraries through Gmail, and organizing travel plans into categories such as Day Plans, Reservations, Things to Do, Food & Drink, etc. A GoodThink study had found that around three-fourths of the travelers find it stressful to keep in mind all the nitty gritty details during their trips. The application currently includes the most noteworthy itineraries for the world’s top 200 cities.

Priceline and Expedia are currently two of the most powerful online travel agents in the world. Google’s application is mostly to help tourists with their day plannings and does not look like a direct competitor. However, even if Google plans on expanding its services and ultimately offers online travel booking services, it will still take Google a considerable amount of time to reach the stature of these two leaders.

According to our estimates, Priceline and Expedia together occupy around 20% of the total occupied hotel rooms currently and the percentage is going to reach close to 30% by the end of our forecast period.

The figure increases even more when we consider other emerging players like Ctrip or TripAdvisor (which is gradually entering the hotel booking arena with its Instant Booking platform).

Google does have some significant comparative advantages. Being the world’s largest search engine it has a massive storehouse of data to use to its advantage. Also, Google’s market capitalization stands at around $550 billion (whereas Priceline’s at $70 billion and Expedia’s at $17 billion). However, not all the ventures of bigger companies turn out to be a success especially since these OTA leaders have specialized experiences in the travel domain.

Google Trips does not pose a significant threat to either Priceline or Expedia in the near future, however, like everything else, we can only speculate the various scenarios that can pan out in the long run.

Editor’s Note: We care deeply about your inputs, and want to ensure our content is increasingly more useful to you. Please let us know what/why you liked or disliked in this article, and importantly, alternative analyses you want to see. Drop us a line at content@trefis.com

Have more questions on Priceline and Expedia? See the links below.

Notes:

1) The purpose of these analyses is to help readers focus on a few important things. We hope such lean communication sparks thinking, and encourages readers to comment and ask questions on the comment section, or email content@trefis.com
2) Figures mentioned are approximate values to help our readers remember the key concepts more intuitively. For precise figures, please refer to our complete analysis for Expedia

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