Home » industry news

Travel Booking Websites — All the Same?


It turns out that most of the travel booking websites are owned by one of four major companies, so you may not need to spend hours scouring the Net for the best deals.

In fact most of these companies use a system of sophisticated algorithms that control prices consisting of the high-low, the profit margins, and the supply — narrowing any price differences among the competing websites. Prices vary more based on the day, date, and supply rather than the booking site you use.

Here’s a glimpse of the major companies and the websites they own :

Expedia Inc.: Owns Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, Venere.co, TripAdvisor.com. TripAdvisor subsidiaries include CruiseCritic.com, BookingBuddy.com, SmarterTravel.com, SeatGuru.com, AirfareWatchdog.com and IndependentTraveler.com

Orbitz Worldwide: Owns Orbitz.com, CheapTickets.com and RatestoGo.com.

Sabre Holdings Inc.: Owns Travelocity.com, IgoUgo.com, LastMinute.com and the huge Sabre reservations system used by the travel industry. Travelocity powers the search on Yahoo! Travel.

Priceline.com Inc.: Owns Priceline.com, Travelweb.com and Lowestfare.com.

[via Chicago Tribune]
Photo by:?o??ƒx™


Related Posts





3 Comments »

  • sem said:

    Actually not all booking sites are the same. whl.travel (www.whl.travel) is a global network of locally owned travel booking companies all sharing a common technology platform as well as a passion for sustainable tourism and extending the benefits of online marketing to the smaller accommodation providers who otherwise have no presence on the big global booking sites you mention.

    Len Cordiner
    CEO
    whl.travel

  • travelanthropist said:

    Thanks Len for mentioning that. There are a number of smaller travel booking companies that are serving some great niche markets — including your company!

  • Bikeabout said:

    Further to what Len wrote above, while we recognize that responsible travel (in all its forms and under all its other labels) still comes across as 'niche', it really shouldn't be. And we believe that it won't for much longer, certainly not if the tales of its growth are credible (we believe they are).

    Perhaps more important is the industry-wide affection for local authenticity. Who doesn't want to go somewhere and feel they really got to know a place? As a global network of local tourism professionals, whl.travel really does deliver in human, emotional and practical ways that other global booking services can't. Even better, we help keep profits in the destination themselves.

    Finally, while we are certainly smaller than the heavy hitters you mention above, we're not really so small. As of this moment, we have local partners with active travel portals for 177 destinations in 80 countries on six continents, with further expansion into about 110 destinations (including 20 new countries) in the coming months.

    We're bringing the battle to the big boys, turning small businesses into global players, pulling local and responsible out of the niche.

    Ethan Gelber
    Editor, whl.travel/blog

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.