Here’s How Priceline.com’s New Road Trip Deals Feature Might Be Significant

by Trefis Team
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This seems to be an interesting time for the travel industry. While deal publishing websites such as Travelzoo, are striving to push their hotel booking platform to users for direct bookings, it seems that online travel booking giants, in turn, want a share of the deal publishing pie. It is towards this end that Priceline.com, one of the flagship brands of the global OTA giant, Priceline, has launched a new iPhone application for people on road trips to search for last minute deals. The travelers can log on to the application while on their way and find real time deals and discounts along their routes. The travelers might be able to save up to 60% of the published rates through this new feature. Also, almost 70% of these road deals are featured solely on Priceline.com, including ‘Express Deals.’

Why Did Priceline.com Decide To Feature Such Deals?

While users enter the information of the starting point and their final destination on the app, Priceline.com can give them updated information on hotels and other deals in real time. The feature, also known as Road Deals, will help the travelers to select hotels based on their budget and star level preferences. Though websites such as Travelocity also help travelers find last moment hotel deals, however, Priceline’s study in this area showed them that there is a potential market and significant demand for such deals. Almost 50% of its mobile application users said that they waited until the last moment to book a hotel deal for their road trip and over 40% claimed to have booked hotels while on their way.

Implication For Priceline And For The Industry

Priceline’s booking.com is the most popular accommodation booking platform in the world right now. Priceline had been refurbishing several features of its Priceline.com brand, in an effort to make it more popular among customers. This might be one more initiative by the company to increase Priceline.com’s brand appeal. Additionally, Priceline’s Name Your Own Price model that let customers book discounted travel deals had been scrapped for its flight bookings recently, because of its persistent losses. This new road deals application might be a good way to target clients where there is potential demand after removing the segment where there wasn’t enough demand. We expect more OTAs to follow Priceline’s example and get the last minute deals into their platforms in the future. What is interesting to observe, however, is that the lines between regular online travel booking websites and travel deal publishing websites might be increasingly blurred with such moves in the future.

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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 Priceline

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