Can Booking Holdings stay in the number one spot for travel tech?
When you’re thinking about companies that dominate the travel technology space, Booking Holdings, the company behind brands like Priceline and Kayak, probably comes to mind. But, in recent comments to the press, CEO Glenn Fogel recently explained that there are at least two players in the space that dwarf it: Facebook and Google. What’s the key to succeeding despite these powerful rivals? A focus on tech, and using it to integrate Booking Holdings’ brands more fully.
Booking Holdings’ share price has appreciated by more than 5% so far this year
Source: Yahoo Finance
Speaking directly to the threat that is posed by Big Tech – not just to his own company, but to businesses in all sectors, Fogel said: “I don’t think anybody can go to sleep and not be concerned about what will Google do next, or Facebook, or Amazon, and that’s just in the U.S. The fact is, though, travel is a lot harder than you think. We have thousands of people, every day, who are calling on hotels to make sure we’re getting the best prices for our customer and working those relationships. That’s not just technology, that’s boots on the ground.”
According to Fogel, the answer is continually evolving to “provide more value, both to the customer who’s going to be traveling and the other side—the host, or the supplier, or the hotel owner.” The way Booking Holdings is looking to accomplish this is through deep investments in artificial intelligence (AI) and data science. That might sound like the company is trying to out-tech some of Silicon Valley’s finest, but it goes deeper than that – the integration of modern technology with Booking Holdings’ decades of experience in the travel industry is what Fogel thinks can carry the day.
Speaking about the company’s plans for the future, he said: “We are building a frictionless solution. That’s what we want at the end of the day, that you just have to do it once, and it’s done, and if anything goes wrong, there’s somebody who knows everything that happened and can fix it.”
Dominion holds Booking Holdings in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.
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