Travel
Metasearch:
What’s
Coming
Next

SKIFT REPORT #8
2014
Metasearch is the biggest battleground
in the online travel ag...
Subscribe to the Skift
Trends Report
Get the twice-monthly Skift Trends Report for the latest intelligence
on the travel i...
Travel Metasearch: What’s Coming Next

SKIFT

REPORT

Executive summary
Metasearch is the hottest thing in travel. Travel ...
Travel Metasearch: What’s Coming Next

SKIFT

ground in the online travel agency versus supplier fight for consumer
eyebal...
Travel Metasearch: What’s Coming Next

SKIFT

REPORT

#8

2014

Table of contents
Executive Summary 3

About Skift

Travel...
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Travel Metasearch: What’s Coming Next

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Metasearch is the biggest battleground in the online travel agency versus travel brands fight for consumer eyeballs and loyalties, and a tool for hotels to compete against other brands at the property level. What’s in store during its next phase?

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http://skift.com/travel-trends/travel-metasearch-whats-coming-next/

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Travel Metasearch: What’s Coming Next

  1. 1. Travel Metasearch: What’s Coming Next SKIFT REPORT #8 2014 Metasearch is the biggest battleground in the online travel agency versus travel brands fight for consumer eyeballs and loyalties, and a tool for hotels to compete against other brands at the property level. What’s in store during its next phase? By Dennis Schaal This material is protected by copyright. Unauthorized redistribution, including email forwarding, is a violation of federal law. Single-use copy only. If you require multiple copies, contact us at WWW.SKIFT.COM trends@skift.com.
  2. 2. Subscribe to the Skift Trends Report Get the twice-monthly Skift Trends Report for the latest intelligence on the travel industry. Each edition in our new series of reports will brief you on a specific trend, providing insight into the current state of the market, the context around the trend, and where the industry is heading in the near future. After you subscribe, you will receive 24 reports direct to your inbox for an entire year. Reports are delivered as a downloadable PDF. Subscribers also receive access to our archive. For any comments or questions, email us: trends@skift.com. Subscribe and check previous reports at: Skift.com/travel-trends
  3. 3. Travel Metasearch: What’s Coming Next SKIFT REPORT Executive summary Metasearch is the hottest thing in travel. Travel metasearch is a leadgeneration platform that allows consumers to compare rates from multiple online travel agencies and suppliers, usually in a single grid. The sector has attracted several billion dollars in investment in the last couple of years from Priceline, Expedia, Google and Sequoia Capital, to name a few, and metasearch, in the U.S. at least, is the fastestgrowing channel for travel shopping. Source: Trivago Tracing its routes to the very late 1990s and startups such as Sidestep, Qixo and FareChase, travel metasearch features companies displaying pricing and, ever-more-frequently, offering bookings for hotels, flights and car rentals. It has evolved from a channel that online travel agencies and suppliers tested and dabbled in, to a vehicle that large players most often consider an essential part of their digital marketing mix. Online travel agencies, hotels, airlines, and car rental companies generally view travel metasearch as a relatively efficient way to drive traffic to their own websites, often getting a higher return on investment than they do through Google AdWords because metasearch’s consumer leads are more qualified. Metasearch is also a key battle- 3 #8 2014
  4. 4. Travel Metasearch: What’s Coming Next SKIFT ground in the online travel agency versus supplier fight for consumer eyeballs and loyalties, and is a tool for hotels to compete against other brands at the property level, for example. This trends report will examine why travel metasearch is attracting so much attention and investment. It will take an inside look at the economics of travel metasearch for the metasearch companies themselves, and participating online travel agencies and suppliers. This trends report will present interviews with Kayak CEO Steve Hafner and Trivago managing director Malte Siewert about their respective companies’ strategies and practices inside global online travel agencies, and it will provide insights from key executives throughout the sector. This trends report will also detail emerging trends in travel metasearch, including mobile, as well as offer advice on best practices. 4 REPORT #8 2014
  5. 5. Travel Metasearch: What’s Coming Next SKIFT REPORT #8 2014 Table of contents Executive Summary 3 About Skift Travel Metasearch: A Look Inside 6 Behind the Trend 6 Why Metasearch? 7 Rate Parity and Disparity 7 Money Is Pouring In 8 The Math of Metasearch 9 Metasearch Economics 9 Bidding Platforms Or Not 10 Interview: Kayak CEO Steve Hafner 11 Metasearch Goes Mainstream 13 Online Travel Agencies and Their Metasearch Pets 13 Suppliers and Booking Advertisers 14 Starwood 14 Wyndham 14 Online Travel Agencies 15 Airlines 16 Interview: Trivago Co-Founder Malte Siewert 18 What’s Happening Next 20 Branded Booking 20 Mobile 21 Refining and Personalizing Search 22 Simple User Interfaces Vs. Comprehensiveness 22 International Expansion 23 Insights & Strategies 24 Further Reading 25 About Skift 26 5 Skift is a travel intelligence company that offers news, data, and services to professionals in travel and professional travelers, to help them make smart decisions about travel. Skift is the business of travel. Visit skift.com for more.

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