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Online Travel Update: Expedia’s Loyalty Program Posts Strong Gains

Our weekly Online Travel Update for the week ending February 10, 2023, is below.  This past week saw the beginning of quarterly earnings releases by the major platforms, with Expedia and its meta search platform, Trivago, being the first.  Expect more details about these 4th quarter releases in future updates.  Enjoy.

    • Expedia’s Loyalty Program Posts Strong Gains.  While Expedia posted reasonably strong fourth quarter and full year (2022) financial results this past week (see attached earnings release transcript for more detail), it was the growth in Expedia’s loyalty program that garnered much of the attention.  During the fourth quarter, the number of Expedia customers who became loyalty program members grew by 60% over the same period in 2019.  With those increases, Expedia entered 2023 with more active loyalty program users than ever (more than 10% higher than the previous peak).  According to Expedia CEO, Peter Kern,  the number of Expedia loyalty program members and number of active Expedia app users (which also grew over the past quarter) are the two primary factors that Expedia uses when evaluating progress against its goal of maintaining long term its highest-value customers. 
    • Trivago Targets Direct Bookings.  In recent correspondence accompanying its fourth quarter and full year (2022) earnings release, Trivago highlighted its ongoing efforts to grow hotel direct bookings.  According to Trivago, direct bookable rates are now available on the meta search site for properties that receive 50% of click outs (and increase from 38% prior to its direct booking push).  Trivago hopes to get that number to over 80% by the end of the year.  Direct bookings are now possible in 8 of Trivago’s markets. 

Have a great week everyone.   

Expedia Sees Record Number of Users Join Loyalty Program
February 10, 2023 via CoStar
Rewards Program, App Users Drive Higher Profits Expedia Group’s strategy of focusing on the long-term retention of high-value customers is accelerating improved performance across the company. During the online travel agency’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2022 earnings call, Expedia Vice Chairman and CEO Peter Kern said for the fourth quarter of ...

Biden calls for passage of a bill to stop 'junk fees' in travel and entertainment
February 8, 2023 via NPR - News
In his State of the Union speech, President Biden addressed the Junk Fees Prevention Act, which aims to limit the hidden fees and charges that exist in the entertainment and travel industries.

Trivago sees big opportunity in direct hotel booking
February 8, 2023 via
Trivago is now testing hotel direct bookings in eight markets as part of its growth strategy originally announced last year. The company says it believes direct access to hotels combined with its existing comparison of rates from online travel agencies is its “biggest opportunity.” In a letter to shareholders alongside ...

  • Greg  Duff

    Greg is Chair of the firm's national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism practice, which is directed at the variety of matters faced by hospitality and travel industry members, including purchase and sales agreements, management ...

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About the Editor

Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.

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