Watch: Expedia on the Benefits of Tech Neutrality

by | Nov 28, 2018

One of the biggest debates in our industry this year has been over the acquisitions of reservation tech companies Bokun and FareHarbor by online travel agencies (OTAs) TripAdvisor and Booking.com, respectively. But for other OTAs, could there be an advantage to sitting out of the acquisition frenzy? Expedia Local Expert Vice President Jen O’Twomney thinks so. Speaking at Arival in Las Vegas with Arival COO and co-founder Bruce Rosard, she noted that as consolidation has transformed the industry, Expedia has been positioned as a truly independent voice.  In this wide-ranging interview, O’Twomney touches on a variety of issues related to Expedia and the future of the industry in general.

She says Expedia has a unique position in the industry by being truly neutral. Without a commercial interest in one system over another, they can provide more unbiased advice to travelers, as well as to operators about how they can make their businesses bookable.   

“We had predicted there would be consolidation in the booking systems space,” O’Twomney says. “Since that time I’ve heard from a lot of suppliers and other booking partners and that they appreciate that we are neutral. We can give an opinion that isn’t motivated by what we own in that space.”

Whether there truly is an advantage to staying neutral remains to be seen. At Arival, we’re putting our money on more tech acquisitions, and only time will tell as to whether Expedia and other OTAs believe in the advantage of neutrality.

 

 

“We had predicted there would be consolidation in the booking systems space. Since that time I’ve heard from a lot of suppliers and other booking partners and that they appreciate that we are neutral. We can give an opinion that isn’t motivated by what we own in that space.”

Jen O’Twomney

Expedia Local Expert VP

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