Expedia switches up its strategy as travel starts to come back

3 weeks ago 18

Mark Okerstrom, CEO, Expedia Group

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Expedia is switching up its strategy arsenic consumers commencement to program trips again.

The Expedia Group question booking institution is updating the acquisition of its app and websites to absorption much connected moving with consumers connected their trips, alternatively than conscionable focusing connected the measurement of bookings. It besides plans a planetary advertisement run to enactment the repositioning starting this week. 

The caller marque positioning includes the tagline "It matters who you question with," which illustrates Expedia's tendency to beryllium much of a question companion that tin enactment travelers get much retired of their trips. The institution said it volition marque its largest selling walk successful 5 years, but wouldn't specify however overmuch it volition spend. 

The alteration comes aft the pandemic caused 1 of the toughest years ever for the question industry. According to figures from the U.S. Travel Association, question walk dropped 42%, oregon $500 billion, from 2019 to 2020. Spend totaled $679 cardinal successful 2020. International question plummeted 76%, portion concern question fell 70%, it said. But arsenic more consumers are vaccinated successful the U.S. and restrictions ease, question looks poised to marque a large comeback: Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky told CNBC past week that it volition request millions of caller hosts to conscionable request arsenic question picks up again.

Expedia says it conducted probe into what customers privation successful a question company. Some of the updates see caller packages that bundle flights with accommodations and activities with upfront full pricing, oregon an updated virtual cause that volition assistance travelers, for instance, with wellness and hygiene accusation astir hotels. 

"Expedia was founded successful 1996. And that was an astonishing moment, due to the fact that what it did was, it turned each traveler, each consumer, into their ain question agent, and it was incredibly empowering," said Shiv Singh, elder vice president and wide manager of Expedia Brand.

"It was a twelvemonth of reckoning for the question industry, due to the fact that question conscionable virtually fell disconnected a cliff," Singh said of 2020. "But ... it served arsenic a infinitesimal for america to excavation heavy and recognize and survey and larn much astir our consumers successful a mode we ne'er had to request to successful the past."

Singh said the institution recognizes question is becoming much of a conscious prime for consumers, 1 that is appreciated alternatively than taken for granted. The institution besides recovered successful its survey that the stay-at-home play has made consumers privation to question more. They're yearning to get retired of the location arsenic agelong arsenic they consciousness harmless and comfy doing so. And helium said that customers are much delicate to the kinds of experiences they have, some arsenic it pertains to wellness and information and successful having memorable experiences. 

Singh said the institution recognizes not everyone is not yet acceptable oregon desiring to travel. 

"We cognize acknowledgment to Covid, expectations astir question and what it means to beryllium the eventual question companion are different, and we privation to service that whether you're acceptable and it's harmless to question time morning, oregon whether that six months from present from now," helium said. "And whether that's for a abrogation to a beach, oregon a concern trip, immoderate it whitethorn be." 

The institution is marking the repositioning with a planetary advertisement campaign, including a U.S. tv spot starring Rashida Jones. The institution worked with Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi connected the run creative.