27 August 2011

Expedia Tries to Breathe New Life Into TAAP. Can this Drive Growth?

Expedia has undergone something of a transformation recently.

Earlier this year it reversed a long held tenant of using GDSs for its air supply chain access.

Now it is pushing partnerships of all sorts as a way to solidify growth in the face of a huge onslaught from its now #1 competitor Priceline a company that has trashed Expedia in almost every metric except overall volume.

Will Expedia's new approach win?

TAAP its Travel Agency Affiliate Program has been largely a tepid and tentative approach to a marketplace that doesnt trust the Bellevue based behemoth.

In its latest efforts it is offering it deep supply chain proposition to Chinese Travel agents. However here - it essentially only offering something that would not give a competitive advantage to an independent Chinese agent. With its investment in the #2 online Travel Agency eLong not making any dents in CTrips market lead - Expedia is still struggling here.

TAAP has not done a lot in the other markets where it has a footprint. In my view China will not fare any better.

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