If Todd Henrich, Senior vice president, Corporate Development at Priceline, knew what would be the big disruptors to the travel industry this year he would, by his own admission, be a very powerful person. That said, while these things are very difficult to predict, Priceline is constantly on the lookout for innovation and disruptive forces because this, he says, helps show the company how it can improve. “We’ve built our business on the back of innovation – for example ‘Name Your Own Price’ and, most recently mobile – and not all of those were our innovations,” he says. “Sometimes we’ve been the innovator, sometimes we’ve acquired the innovator and sometimes we’ve followed the innovator. The challenge is keeping your mind and your business open to innovation.” Priceline’s acquisition of Kayak late last year and consequent rise of the mega metasearch category is a case in point. The ‘mobile’ piece of Kayak’s business was a key driver for the Priceline acquisition. With mobile now becoming mainstream and growth opportunities in emerging markets (where mobile is a huge opportunity) this is something that will continue to be a focus. As such Priceline Ventures is constantly looking to invest in companies that will drive big innovation. But for Henrich, who will be speaking at EyeforTravel’s Online Marketing Strategies for Travel 2013: The Americas & The Caribbean in Miami (June 4-5) most of the things we have seen recently have been innovations on the margin. “They have sought to improve things incrementally rather than transformatively,” he explains. However, people are working on things that could be fairly transformative – an example would be voice-enabled search. Of course there are “tonnes of challenges there, but the opportunity is significant,” he says. Get the full story at EyeForTravel