Expedia pushes into tours and activities

Online travel giant invests to offer “one-stop” app
Expedia’s business continues to bank heavily on hotels and flights, but the online travel giant is making clear its “serious intention” to take a bigger market share in tours and activities.
It has always offered tours and activities on its platform but recently introduced new investments as testament to its commitment to the sector.
“We recognise that activities are such a fundamental part of travel and it is not enough for us to just take our customers and send them somewhere with a flight. We want to help them build the entire trip,” Brian Keffeler, principal global product manager at Expedia, told TTG Asia.
Expedia’s smartphone app now allows travellers to book tours immediately, he pointed out. To raise awareness of the more than 11,000 tours and activities bookable through the app, the company has spent $6.4 million on US TV advertising.
According to Keffeler, the tours and activities business has been expanding well across the US and Europe, but there is still a “huge growth area” in Asia.
Late last year, Expedia also announced its application programming interface (API) for in-destination tours that allows local activity suppliers to integrate reservation systems directly with the Expedia ecosystem.
When asked about competition posed by similar suppliers like Viator, Keffeler said: “There is a lot of space to go around and we do not focus too hard on the competitor.
“For Expedia, we are already offering the opportunities for people to buy a flight, a hotel, and it makes sense for us to offer rental cars and activities. We want to provide customers with a one-stop place and not [have any] missed opportunities.”
TTG Asia

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