OTA to take on agents
Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel has confirmed Booking. com’s intention to improve its competitive edge with travel agents by enhancing its dynamically packaged holiday booking options for users.
Speaking during a webinar about the company’s financial results earlier this month, Fogel indicated that a new technology initiative continues to explore opportunities the OTA has in regard to creating more connected trips for travellers.
“When you’re planning a trip you need a flight, a hotel and ground transport, you don’t want to go back and forth,” he said.
“You want it all connected and when something goes wrong you want one place to call.”
Fogel conceded that travel agents currently handle these types of issues better than the digital space, however he also stated that with the right software mix, ultimately “digital can do it better”.
“This gives a great opportunity for suppliers to give us different services at different prices that we put together - that is what we’re working on,” he said.
The first stage of Booking.com’s connected travel push appears to be leveraging the growth of its air ticket platform to increase crosssell opportunities.
“The top priority on this front has been to scale up our robust flight platform which will give us the ability to engage with flight bookers early in their travel journey and allow us to crosssell our accommodation and other services to these bookers,” Fogel noted, adding that its flight product had now been launched in six new markets since the last quarter, totalling 12 live markets.
Flight bookings growth has continued to “meaningfully exceed” expectations, Fogel said.