Priceline to Merge Some Listings with TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor, one of the largest travel websites in the world, is becoming even larger, due to a new partnership it has struck with Priceline. Yesterday, the two travel aggregators announced plans to merge some of their offerings in the near future.

Accommodations from websites under Priceline Group will be listed on TripAdvisor’s instant booking platform. Customers will be made aware that the listings are under Booking.com, and its representatives will handle all related customer service. Booking.com will be the first online brand to link its inventory with TripAdvisor, and Agoda.com is likely to be next, a press release states.

Stephen Kaufer, president and CEO of TripAdvisor says Priceline’s hotel inventory will greatly broaden TripAdvisor’s current base of 235,000 bookable properties. The instant booking feature is only available for lodgings in the U.S., but is expected to roll out to international markets over time.

“Having Priceline Group join the instant booking platform is a huge win for travelers, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them as our first strategic, global online travel agency partner,” he said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the deal comes after months of negotiations and initial reservation from Priceline. Executives were leery of working with TripAdvisor since it could draw consumer attention away from brands under Priceline Group. On Wednesday, TripAdvisor shares jumped 20 percent to $81.09, while Priceline’s fell 1.9 percent to $1,319.

TripAdvisor launched its instant booking platform last year, quickly becoming an aggressive contender among online travel agencies. The travel review website already manages and operates 23 other travel media brands, including SmarterTravel, Airfarewatchdog, FlipKey, GateGuru, BookingBuddy, Cruise Critic, Oyster and Jetsetter.

Tripadvisor’s merge with Priceline follows a trend of bigger websites buying out smaller travel service companies. Earlier this year, Expedia acquired Travelocity and Orbitz, expanding its footprint within the $1.3 trillion travel booking industry.

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