A lot more people are using Expedia to book hotels than did so last year. In Q3 bookings increased by $3.2 billion, or 21 percent, over last year to $18.6 billion. The number of nights stayed also increased 17 percent over last year.
As more people use the site, Expedia is adding more hotels to its portfolio. During the third quarter, the company added 14,000 properties, 19 percent more than it added this time last year. That gives Expedia - and its affiliate sites - a combined 321,000 properties.
Despite its primary function as a travel company, Expedia is investing heavily in technology. Khosrowshahi, who spoke at the GeekWire Summit 2016, talked about the power of Facebook Messenger bots, and the company released its first one earlier this year. They could have value on both the booking and customer service sides. A customer service bot could change a traveler’s reservations easily, without a lengthy phone call or set of information about the trip.
Expedia is also experimenting with virtual reality. Khosrowshahi described virtual reality as a way to wet people’s appetite for a trip. But he doesn’t want to see it replace the real-life travel experience.
“We want virtual reality to be just good enough to make you want to go there, but not good enough to make you forego the trip.” Khosrowshahi said on the earnings call.
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