When he talks about HomeAway's lead in vacation rentals and Booking.com's edge in the retail-hotel business in Europe and Asia, Expedia Inc.'s Dara Khosrowshahi offers a similar refrain.
"We don't think it is a winner-take-all kind of issue," Khosrowshahi says, in acknowledging HomeAway's market clout and Expedia's uphill battle to get vacation-rental owners to list their properties with a second brand, Expedia's TripAdvisor.
Khosrowshahi uses similar verbiage when he acknowledges that Expedia's international hotel business is not displaying Priceline-like growth.
"I don't think it's a winner-take-all market," Khosrowshahi says, referring to the global hotel business.
Khosrowshahi's comments came at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in Boston May 18.
In vacation rentals, Khosrowshahi notes that Expedia is building its base, is trying to increase traffic both in the U.S. and internationally, and needs to ensure that vacation-rental property owners receive an ample amount of consumer leads.
With its leadership position, HomeAway working at a higher level and is focusing on expanding its international business, he says.
Khosrowshahi is optimistic about TripAdvisor's prospects in vacation rentals because it is such a huge market and still is in its infancy regarding online distribution.
He thinks there is ample room for several players to succeed and believes TripAdvisor's global footprint and page views should make it a worthy competitor in vacation rentals.
Regarding the global hotel business, Khosrowshahi says Expedia is gaining marketshare in Europe, Asia and South America but isn’t keeping pace with Priceline and its Booking.com unit.
Venere is Expedia’s answer to Booking.com.
Khosrowshahi says Venere now has 23,000 hotels using the agency model — as opposed to the prepay hotel-merchant model — in Europe and elsewhere and by the end of 2010 it will be in a relatively good inventory position.
The next stage will be for Venere to work on the inventory quality — a factor that sometimes gets short shrift — including enhancing inventory availability in short booking windows, he adds.
Venere also will focus on search-engine and affilliate marketing, “things Booking.com does so well,” Khosrowshahi says.
When it comes to the global hotel and vacation-rental markets, Khosrowshahi would probably find himself disagreeing with baseball great Yogi Berra, who famously said, "It gets late early out there."
Khosrowshahi believes that despite the seeming lateness, it's still pretty early.