Booking Holdings is the world’s largest online travel company that owns Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, Kayak, Rental Cars and Open Table. Glen Fogle, CEO of Booking Holdings says that it is through acquisitions that the company was able to grow as big as it is with revenue now exceeding $12 billion per year.
Glen Fogle, CEO of Booking Holdings discussed their growth through acquisition strategy in a recent interview:
Without Acquisitions We’d Probably Have Been Acquired
We are an internet technology driven company. Without the acquisitions that we’ve done, we’d be nowhere where we are now. In fact, who knows where we’d be, we’d probably be owned by somebody else who would have acquired us.
I was fortunate that I found these guys at a Cambridge University who started this little company called Active Hotels. We talked and talked and eventually, they said yeah they would join with us. Then we found the guys in Amsterdam at Booking.com and said this would be great, it’d be like music. You can have a great soloist who is wonderful but I think a whole Orchestra can produce better music and that’s kind of like bringing more people together to create that big beautiful Orchestra.
Asia Could Be Our Largest Travel Market
Everybody I think will say that Asia is the greatest growth area for almost all industries, and travel even more so. It’s growing faster than most of the areas of the world. As these people age and get going from young adults or teenagers into young adults and earn money and then they want to travel we need to be there now to help develop these brand habits. It could be our largest travel market.
One of the reasons we did those investments (top Chinese online travel agency Ctrip and ride sharing platform Didi Chuxing) and one of the reasons both those companies were interested in having us invest and create a relationship is because of our outbound capabilities. Both companies are very interested in making their outbound services more powerful and they recognize that we can bring things to them that will help them. That’s the reason to do that.
Our Outbound Business is Key In China
We believe that there are really three things that are so important for our business being successful in China and one of them, without doubt, is that outbound business. We need to make sure that we are providing a great service to every single Chinese customer who wants to explore and experience the world.
The outbound market is an area where we’re growing nicely. Our job is to make sure that that Chinese customer and they think they need a hotel somewhere around the world, where they need a non-hotel, a home, or an apartment, we want to make sure the first thing they think about is using Booking or Agoda.