Priceline Group Rebrands To Bookings After Recovering From Dot-com Bust

Online travel giant Priceline Group has changed its name to Booking Holdings. According to the Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Fogel, the new name better reflects the company’s core business under the Booking.com unit. The name change will result in the company’s NASDAQ stock ticker changing to BKNG from PCLN.

Priceline Name Change

While most people in the U.S identify the company and its operations with the name Priceline, the same cannot be said in other markets. For instance in China and Japan, people are most familiar with Booking.com, because it is where they go to book airplane tickets. The company is hoping the name change will help people understand well, what Priceline is all about.

“For all those reasons, I think our business in the area of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay, I believe we have the world’s best service in that area. Now in the US, that’s not as well-known, I admit,” Fogel said. “But that’s part of changing this name to Booking Holdings and becoming aware of all the things that we do. I think that’s going to be positive for us in the long run.”

The fact that the company does more business outside the U.S with the Booking.com brand is one of the reasons that triggered the name change. While there is no information on the amount of revenue Booking.com brings, it is still larger than KAYAK, agoda.com Rentalcars.com, and OpenTable from which the company generates revenues.

Booking.com is a merger of two companies that Priceline bought over a decade ago. The combined company consists of operations of Active Hotels that the company bought for $161 million in 2004 and hotel service Bookings B.V acquired for $133 million.

The two companies have been a key driver of the company’s overall bottom line especially on Priceline Group coming under pressure in the aftermath of the dot-com bust. A change to Booking Holdings emphasizes how the company has recovered and evolved over the years to become an online giant when it comes to travel bookings.

Competition Threat

However, the company still faces stiff competition from the likes of Expedia and Airbnb, which is increasingly encroaching into its key revenue streams. Google has also ramped up efforts as it continues to pursue opportunities on online travel services.

Mr. Fogel remains optimistic about Booking Holdings prospects despite the threat posed by rivals and new entrants with big cash balances. According to the executive, the company will continue to grow and stay relevant in the industry.

“If you don’t innovate and keep up with the changes, you will not survive,” Fogel said.

 

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