Expedia’s focus on social and mobile to woo the next generation of travel customers is likely to help the forthcoming float of Facebook and its valuation of $100 billion.
Writing for Travolution sister site travelweekly.co.uk, David Stevenson says in his monthly City Insider piece that the latest trading updated was very positive for the global travel giant.
Stevenson, who is also the author of the Financial Times’ Adventurous Investor column said: “the most important trend is that Expedia is betting the bank on social and mobile”.
“Hotels.com may have taken its time launching a groovy new mobile app, but better late than never and the app has already hit five million downloads.
“Traffic is also inexorably increasing to its Late Minute Deals pages on Expedia.com – its focused “A Sudden Amazing Price (ASAP) 12-hour flash” promotion resulted in triple-digit room-night growth over the last quarter.
“Across a huge range of fronts Expedia is spending serious amounts of money on wooing younger customers via Facebook, encouraging them to use its online presence for everything from dynamic packaging through to simple hotel or flights purchases.”
Stevenson used the example of a recent week-long Las Vegas hotel room promotion that embraced social media and resulted in double-digit growth to illustrate his point.
“As an aside, the success of this initiative will be loudly trumpeted by Facebook executives as they justify a huge valuation for the IPO of the social media giant – will its 901 million active users justify a $100 billion valuation? Given that many of these young users spend as much as three in every four minutes on the site, anything is possible.
“Expedia’s growing commitment to the Facebook phenomena as well as to marrying social and mobile generally, only serves to underline a key demographically inspired transformation.
“Teenagers and twentysomethings may be impoverished and increasingly unemployed but they’re also tech savvy and price conscious and clearly have no inhibitions about using online and mobile as their primary source of knowledge.
“As this generation grows older and settles down will they be the generation that finally gets around to completely consigning the traditional summer package holiday to history?”