Distribution

Expedia’s Vrbo to reposition beyond vacation rentals

Nov 17, 2019 / Expedia
Expedia Group
Expedia Group

The company's vacation rental business Vrbo plans to reposition itself as a family travel site that would offer vacation rentals, resorts, and other features facilitating family vacations.

The move has been in the works behind the scenes for some time, and Expedia sees it as a differentiator in a crowded short-term rental marketplace, and one that has almost limitless opportunity.

The unit’s new general manager Jeff Hurst said a resort stay might sometimes make more sense than vacation rentals for some families visiting theme park destinations. Vrbo also plans to increase its merchandising of resort-style amenities such as chefs and daily cleaning services, for example.

Digital Marketing

TripAdvisor journeys into non-travel advertising

Nov 17, 2019 / TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor

Up until last year, TripAdvisor primarily sold to travel advertisers and online travel agencies. But that's changing out of necessity.

TripAdvisor’s core hotel ad business has declined as Google encroaches on its hotel research-and-booking revenue with its own planning tools. To spearhead this diversification strategy, TripAdvisor hired Christine Maguire from Condé Nast in April to lead a team of 170 as VP of global advertising revenue.

In the months since Maguire joined, the company has released 10 beta versions of ad products to appeal to different marketers’ needs. One allows advertisers to use TripAdvisor’s data and ad creatives to reach travelers on Instagram or Facebook. Another adds a branded content offering. A third, to be introduced later this month, is a self-serve advertising portal for smaller businesses. A fourth brings in outstream video.

Distribution

Expedia CEO: Future looks good for travel agents

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

The CEO of the largest online travel company is confident that traditional travel advisors will continue to thrive.

Expedia research shows that two-thirds of their customers would prefer to communicate with agents via chat or text rather than voice when they have questions. But Okerstrom said that such results aren't reflective of more involved itineraries.

Complex trips - like a 10-day, multi-country itinerary with scheduled activities - are tough for travelers to do online, he said.

Distribution

Expedia kicks off Black Friday sale early this year

Nov 17, 2019 / Expedia
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Beginning Monday, November 25, travelers can find select hotels up to 60 percent off, plus special discounts on flights, packages, activities and cruises.

Then, the savings continue Black Friday and Cyber Monday with coupons that can be used to score even deeper discounts on the mobile app.

"Our data tells us that people are leveraging the sale to book near-term travel, so this year we're starting the sale even earlier to allow people more time to get those December and early January trips on the books," says Gourav Pani, Vice President of Customer Marketing at Expedia.

Digital Marketing

How Google interferes with its search algorithms

Nov 17, 2019 / Google
Google
Google

Google has changed its search algorithm to alter search results in ways it has publicly denied in the past, a new investigation from The Wall Street Journal finds.

After testing Google’s algorithm and conducting over 100 interviews, the Journal reported that Google has intervened in its algorithm to demote spam sites and maintain blacklists as well as make changes to its algorithm that favored the search ranking of a major advertiser, eBay, contrary to its public position.

The report could add fuel to conservatives’ claims of bias and censorship by Google based on how it determines what content surfaces in its search engine and on its video platform, YouTube.

Related: WSJ report about Google search manipulation gets a lot wrong