Two major online travel companies have strengthened their booking capabilities, announcing two huge acquisitions.
We are living for the drama that so often erupts from the fierce competition between online travel companies.
And today is particularly juicy.
Booking Holdings announced over the weekend it has acquired booking software provider, FareHarbor, whose technology allows tour and activity operators to connect with customers online through software that facilitates an easy, seamless booking experience.
Meanwhile, TripAdvisor announced this morning it has acquired Bokun, which acts as a booking engine an inventory channel manager, a price management tool and more.
This is pretty big news for TripAdvisor, who previously had to rely on third-party suppliers like FareHarbor, Peek, and Bokun to connect it with tour suppliers, according to Skift.
Yep, FareHarbour, which you may remember from a few seconds ago when we mentioned it was just acquired by Booking.com’s Booking Holdings.
TripAdvisor has actually made a few attempts to buy FareHarbor itself.
“While Booking Group’s size, heft, and sales presence could allow it to sign-on activity partners directly, we also see an opportunity for TripAdvisor to partner with Booking and Expedia for distribution,” said research analysts at investment bank SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, according to Skift.
“Today travel is fueled by technology, yet the local experiences and attractions marketplace is still largely offline,” Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com said in a statement.
“FareHarbor’s technology allows local tours and attractions to easily bring their businesses online.”
“We see an immense opportunity to leverage this technology to bring more local experiences online, benefitting the entire global travel ecosystem for both consumers and local businesses by allowing them to connect instantly through a seamless digital experience.”
Dermot Halpin, president, TripAdvisor Experiences and Rentals said the online travel review site is committed to taking the experiences sector far beyond its current online penetration of just 20%, and Bokun will play a critical role in this mission.
“This marks a new phase for our business: we’re expanding beyond our core offering as the industry’s largest distribution channel,” Halpin said in a statement.
“This product is part of a very bright future for the industry – one that eliminates fragmentation, significantly grows and simplifies distribution for suppliers, and dramatically improves the shopping experience for travellers.”