Sunday, June 25, 2006
Surprise - Priceline leads the way in Europe (?)
Priceline have shown the way in how to integrate acquisitions with the continued quiet growth of activehotels. Nine months after the acquisition, Activehotels continues to grow its business in the UK with new external distribution deals, increased internal distribution by taking over the home page of priceline.co.uk and adding local review content. They have avoided the misguided push to combine the Bookings and Activehotels brands and product. Critically the pre-acquisition Activehotels and Bookings teams have formed the core of Priceline Europe. The consolidation in online travel is not yet over. There are a large number of active (no pun intended) small to medium players that would benefit from being part of a larger network just as there are markets that the big players would do better to buy into rather than build. The stumbling block for some has been integration. Priceline's successful integration with Active and Bookings is in stark contrast to Travelocity with Lastminute and Cendant with everything.