Expedia is still keeping the so-called sharing economy at arm’s length, even as companies like Airbnb have swooped into the online travel industry and found success with a new way of doing business.
The travel giant has partnered with HomeAway, an Airbnb competitor, since 2013. But Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says that collaboration is not yet “materially increasing our revenue per shopper.”
The company said earlier this year that more that more than 150,000 HomeAway properties are listed on Expedia’s sites. That means instead of facilitating bookings with major hotel chains like the company has done for over a decade, Expedia is connecting shoppers with ordinary property owners looking to make some extra cash with a vacation rental.
Expedia is in the process of expanding that partnership into Europe, but only as it continues to “test and learn” — as opposed to a major push into the sharing economy.
“I don’t think that we’ve hit on a magic bullet at this point,” Khosrowshahi said during the company’s quarterly earnings call last week. “We think the customer experience at this point isn’t what it needs to be and we think we can materially improve the customer experience and we’re hoping that will add to our customer satisfaction and also help our revenue per shopper. And we’re working with HomeAway on that front and we’ll look to bring in additional inventory as well.”
Instead, Expedia is laser focused on building up the number of good old-fashioned hotels its users can choose from.
The company signed up 27,000 new hotels last quarter, meaning it added more properties in the first half of 2015 than in all of 2014. “We’re hoping to accelerate it on a go-forward basis,” Khosrowshahi said.