In this edition of ‘It Happened This Week’, the focus was on two OTAs, both in their very early years, and both finally turning a profit.
The headline for ‘It Happened This Week’ is: ‘Online retailers Travelocity and Expedia report profits for first time’
As the article notes, Travelocity.com Inc. announced it had “reached an important milestone in becoming one of the few profitable Internet companies by reporting a net profit”, as well as positive cash flow, for the first quarter of the year.
Meanwhile Expedia was expected to post a quarterly profit as well, for the first time. The OTA was also anticipating an 88% increase in quarterly revenue, to the tune of US$110 million.
Everyone in the retail travel industry knows what happened next. OTAs like Travelocity, Expedia, and many, many more, became so dominant over the next two decades that many outside the industry were predicting ‘the death of the travel agent’.
But that wasn’t the way it played out at all. Bit by bit, with top-notch customer service, expertise and good old fashioned hard work and grit, travel advisors held on, and by the time the pandemic rolled around, proved their value and worth all over again.
Expedia went on to acquire Travelocity, and Expedia Group is now the second largest OTA in the world (after Booking.com), with holdings including Expedia, Hotels.com, Expedia Partner Solutions, Vrbo, trivago, HomeAway, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, Wotif, ebookers, CheapTickets and more. For the fourth quarter of 2022, Expedia Group posted revenues totaling US$2.618 billion.
Did the headline about Expedia and Travelocity turning quarterly profits for the very first time appear in Travelweek in 1999, 2001 or 2005?
Fill out the contest form below, with your guess and your email address. We’ll announce the answer and the winner next week, along with the next contest headline. Last week’s headline about Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption and the subsequent disruption to European air travel ran in April 2010. Our winner for Week #8 is Graham Pardoe from G&G Travel in Edmonton. Congratulations Graham!
Every Wednesday in Travelweek Daily, we’re posting an article from Travelweek’s archives, spanning the years 1973 – 2023. Guess the correct year the story ran, and you could win a $50 Amazon gift card. There’s a new headline and a new chance to win every single week.