The booking industry is controlled by two companies, creating a duopoly where there is hardly any competition, which again lead to higher prices for the consumers. You might think all the advertising you see is from a wide range of business, you could not be more wrong, most of the brands you see advertising is owned by Booking Holdings and Expedia Group.
To name a few of the brands these two groups control:
Booking Holdings Inc; Booking.com, Priceline.com, Agoda.com, Kayak.com, Cheapflights, Rentalcars.com, Momondo
Expedia Group; CarRentals.com, CheapTickets, Expedia.com, HomeAway, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, Orbitz, Travelocity, trivago, and Venere.com
Together they do $190 billion of the world’s $200 billion in online bookings. They are massive, and are clearly not in the market to cut prices, there are here to ensure you book with them at whatever price they feel they can charge you and still have you believe you are getting a good price.
Have you ever tried to book directly with a hotel and compared the price? In most cases you will get the same price, but you will also get extra benefits such as a room upgrade, sometimes even a free breakfast. But you will not get a lower price booking directly with the hotel, this is because the big booking brands have it in their contract that the hotels cannot offer rooms at a rate lower than what they do. So effectively the booking sites set the room price, not the hotels. What a strange way to save you money.
In ASPIRING we are working on changing how bookings work. We are backing a new and innovative platform which truly will save people money. How can we get cheaper rooms? We will not spend $10 billion on marketing per year, this saving alone will cut hotel prices by 5 to 10%. Add to this new technology and innovations and we will offer a new way of traveling as we grow our brand.