I recently wrote the OTA chapter for Phocuswright’s U.S. Online Travel Overview Report Fifteenth Edition.
The OTA arms race continued to heat up in 2015 as Expedia moved ahead with acquisitions of Travelocity (closed January 2015), Orbitz (closed September 2015), and HomeAway (planned to close 1Q16). Despite strong opposition from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), the DOJ cleared Expedia’s $1.6 billion takeover of Orbitz, concluding that “the acquisition will unlikely harm competition and consumers.” The three acquisitions underscore Expedia’s effort to stay ahead of eternal rival Priceline in the U.S. and pull ahead internationally, cementing what the AHLA and many others consider to be a domestic online travel duopoly.
Stronger efforts to sell direct by suppliers dampened overall growth rates for OTAs, but Expedia and Priceline still experienced healthy gains. Expedia’s domestic gross bookings jumped nearly 20% in the first nine months of 2015 compared to the prior year’s period.
Online Travel Agencies: Consolidation, Cross-Shopping and Channel Shift
- Key Findings
- A Note on Methodology
- Size of the Market
- Hotels Continue To Gain, Air Is Less of a Pain
- The OTA Duopoly Takes Shape
- Suppliers Slip on Hotels, Hold on Air
- Mobile Means More for OTAs
- Meta Breaks Up the Duopoly
- OTAs Want to Share
(a Phocuswright “Global” subscription is required):