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Booking.com to beat Expedia and Airbnb in 2016?


Trend is towards key factor of instantly confirmable bookings
This will be a transitional year in online travel and accommodation, the travel site Skift predicts. In much the same way Expedia dominated developments with its procurements in 2015, you can expect that Booking.com will be heard more from in 2016.
Given all the worry about Airbnb, Booking.com owner Priceline Group needs to win back the momentum this year. But there may not be much left for it to buy.
In an effort to win back the headlines, in November Booking.com revealed that it offered 21 million bookable rooms – the idea being that Booking.com compares more than favourably with Airbnb, and can instantly confirm bookings.
It will seek to reverse any adverse publicity accumulated up to now by the comparative rise and growth of Airbnb and Expedia.
The Priceline Group, including Booking.com, Agoda and Priceline.com, has a much larger accommodation business than Expedia, including hotels, apartments and vacation rentals. In the third quarter of 2015, 116 million room nights were booked via the group (up 22%), compared to 61.5 million via Expedia sites (up 36%).
This coming year could be transitional. One pivotal question is how booking sites deal with instant confirmations. On Expedia-owned HomeAway, for example, property owners have 24 hours to decide if they want to accept a reservation. But the trend is towards instantly confirmable bookings – a feature that Booking.com is sticking to.


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