Former Expedia president Simon Breakwell downplayed the potential for Google to move further into travel by becoming an agent itself. But he advised travel firms to minimise their reliance on the dominant search engine saying the rising cost of advertising has changed the economics of travel.
Breakwell, one of the original founding team at Expedia, gave the keynote address at this week’s eighth Travolution Summit on Monday.
He said with Google costs rising at 20% to 25%, it is now very difficult for firms to compete with the “super-scale” OTAs like Expedia and Booking.com.
Booking.com parent Priceline Group alone has an annual marketing budget £3.2 billion, claimed Breakwell. “Competing against that requires different approaches,” he added.
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