Skyscanner, owned by Chinese travel giant Ctrip, will close Trip by Skyscanner next month, marking the end of the user-generated travel planning mobile app and website founded in 2010 under the brand Gogobot.
Skyscanner pulled the plug at a time when consumers don’t want to visit yet another travel website when they already visit so many to plan and book vacations. Also, Facebook and TripAdvisor have proved to be more popular sources of like-minded travel advice.
Since acquiring the company in November 2017, Skyscanner salvaged its collection of reviews and photos of destinations and attractions. In recent months, Skyscanner has been importing the older Trip/Gogobot content. It plans to use the reviews and photos as a base to prod its users to post their own comments and images.
The move comes in response to a key trend. A growing number of consumers want to do all of their travel research and booking at the same source — or from as few sources as possible.
In the past year, Skyscanner has joined a trend of travel brands working harder to provide help for travelers looking for inspiration or destination research. TripAdvisor redesigned its homepage with a socially-influenced advice feed, adding to its reviews and booking engine. Pinterest touted a surge in travelers sharing destination recommendations on its social media platform. In China Mafwengo, a travel user-reviews site, raised hundreds of millions of dollars of funding.
Yet trends are pointing toward the superapp model popularized in China, said Travis Katz, vice president of product at Skyscanner and the former CEO of Trip/Gogobot.
“I expect some of the stand-alone services to merger or fade over time,” Katz said.
The move may be illustrated by Google’s increasingly Swiss-Army-knife approach to travel.
To be sure, Skyscanner’s parent Ctrip Group also acquired Trip for a more cynical reason. It used the brand and address to launch a new online travel agency, Trip.com.
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