Peter Kern, Expedia Group
"I want to be the best travel tech platform in the world. Period."
Quote from Peter Kern, Expedia Group CEO and vice chairman, in an article on PhocusWire this week on the company's Explore conference.
Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered by PhocusWire that week.
Let's not, for a moment, dampen the mood that has started creeping into the psyche of leaders in the online travel market in recent weeks.
It's been a difficult year for everyone and, unless you're one of those that often revels in bad news (cough, cough: journalists), some signs that the industry sees light at the end of the tunnel is A Good Thing.
Sean Menke of Sabre is already planning for 2022, he says, while Glenn Fogel of Booking Holdings has a plan for a post-pandemic sector.
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And within 24 hours of Expedia Group's Peter Kern proclaiming "I want to be the best travel tech platform in the world. Period," Airbnb rings the bell on its public listing in New York with an initial valuation of $86 billion, smashing its expected opening target.
Once the dust settles, of course, there might not be a huge amount of goodwill towards three founders who became extremely rich overnight and will be forced through public ownership to compete aggressively in their market(s), but the signals that the Airbnb IPO sent out are a positive for the wider industry.
If investors are happy, then the ripples that emerge from that buoyancy will hopefully be enjoyed by others - be they startups or established brands.
Where this period of positivity gets interesting will be in how those experiencing (or, at least, claiming) the good times will return get to grips with one another.
Expedia Group and Booking Holdings will be watching closely as to what newly-minted Airbnb does next, both in terms of its growth strategy and whether the business will turn to acquisitions to achieve its goals.
The "best" in anything is difficult to determine (sales, inventory, marketing tactics, customer service - who knows?) but it would be safe to assume that as the market recovers there will be a return to a gloves-off battleground to win in any or all of those metrics.
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