Priceline May Partner With TripAdvisor

Palm tree on the tropical beachDarren Huston, Priceline Group CEO, has announced that his company will begin testing a partnership with TripAdvisor this week for the Instant Booking platform on Booking.com.

The partnership between TripAdvisor and Priceline was announced last month, and Huston says consumers will now start to see a “small sample” of inventory on Instant Booking.

“As with all of our channels, we’ll experiment and optimize with our partners at TripAdvisor and expect to achieve healthy ROIs while being given the opportunity to bring new customers into our fold for the long term,” Huston said.

Huston also added that Priceline is “willing to work with other media owners who adopt similar principles that allow both the media owner and the advertiser an opportunity to promote differentiation in their branded offerings and to grow their business.”

It’s yet to be determined whether Priceline has made the right move in their partnership with travel giant TripAdvisor.

Huston did also acknowledge that the company is aware of the questionable choice they’ve made in partnering with a competitor.

“Obviously, it’s a very tricky area, and what we would never want to do is be a dumb pipe to somebody else’s brand, and we would never want to give our content away to somebody to book other people’s bookings; and you’ll see that we’ve done neither of those,” he said.

Huston also compared Priceline, which has over 1.8 million available rooms, with to other services in the daily and weekly vacation rentals market, such as Airbnb and HomeAway.

The difference between the companies, he says, is that HomeAway focuses more on vacation homes, whereas Priceline is more focused on city apartments and European vacation rentals. These two different services cater to different types of consumers searching the daily and weekly vacation rentals available.

Huston said that vacation rentals are “a really critical market for us in the future,” but did add, “I like the cards we have,” meaning they will be placing an emphasis on unique rental options within the United States.

Booking.com boasts more than 21 million available rooms, the majority of which are traditional hotels rooms (14.4 million). Only 1.8 million of those rooms are vacation rentals. The other rooms are various other unique accommodation options.

Priceline has done incredibly well in stocks recently, with a 12.6% increase in net income during the third-quarter, which totaled $1.2 billion. Vetr analysts say TripAdvisor has also been upgraded in the stocks from a “strong sell” rating to a “buy” rating. They now trade at $85.26 per share.

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