The hot summer travel season is underway and Booking.com CEO Gillian Tans expects to make money helping millions of travelers crash for the night.
“I think it’s good if people travel and start to explore the world. That’s the business that we are in,” Tans told Yahoo Finance’s On the Move. But a growing part of that business, according to Tans, is helping clients book a place to drop their bags when they reach a destination.
Overnight reservations worldwide helped Booking.com generate $2.8 billion in revenue last year, and Tans said property bookings currently represent 20% of its revenue in 2019. According to Tans, Booking.com has a total of 28 million listings, 5.6 million listings are in homes and apartments.
“There is an enormous increase in customer demand for all kinds of property types,” Tans said. “We started off in hotels, but already today we have over 30 categories on Booking.com. We basically build a breadth of selection in any destination that customers are looking for.”
And tourists are definitely looking. Website performance tracker SimilarWeb reports Booking.com had more than 419 million visitors from February through April looking for travel deals.
Trade war impact
Customers are making different travel choices because of the U.S.-China trade war and Brexit, according to Tans.
“They might travel more domestically, they take shorter trips, they might have a different budget,” she said. “There’s always a lot of volatility in travel... and many elements that are happening in the world are impacting travel.”
Tans points out that Booking.com is able to adjust to changing travel plans.
Where people are traveling
Booking.com competitor Hopper recently published its list of destinations travelers can go to save money. Lima Peru, Montreal, Canada and Buenos Aires, Argentina are just a few of the international destinations where Hopper said the strong U.S. dollar will help a tourist save big.
Hopper’s Liana Corwin recently told Yahoo Finance’s On the Move prices for airline tickets are trending 7% lower this summer than last. “We’re actually seeing ticket prices this summer at a historic low. Overall, it’s better flying conditions for consumers,” Corwin said.
Frugal tourists may choose to stay in the U.S. Smartasset recently ranked the most affordable domestic destinations predicting many travelers will follow the sun. Orlando, Las Vegas and Fort Lauderdale were the top three most affordable U.S. destinations for a family of four, according to Smartasset.
Booking.com’s Tans said she’s seeing more spontaneous travel. “You see many customers that might book the first destination of their trip and then they use the app to take them to the next place they want to explore,” she said.
Adam Shapiro is co-anchor of Yahoo Finance On the Move.