What is Booking Holdings up to with its big 2021 spending spree?
12/16/2021|10:41:11 AM|Phocuswire

Booking Holdings has splashed out almost $3.5 billion on acquisitions and investments in the space of less than a month.

The first came in mid November, when it acquired Getaroom for $1.2 billion and grabbed a slice of the B2B hotel room distributor market.

ETraveli Group, the Sweden-based online travel agency and flight technology company, came next as part of a €1.63 billion takeover from private equity house CVC Capital Partners.

And last week, Booking Holdings' family member Kayak was the lead investor in a $60 million backing of Life House, the hotel management and boutique accommodation provider.

PhocusWire asked a range of executives and experts for their perspective on what might be motivating the buying spree at Booking Holdings and what it means for their competitors, others and the future.

Max Starkov, online travel technology consultant and former founder at NextGuest, believes that Booking Holdings' acquisitions are just the beginning of an avalanche of M&A activities in 2022.

The global travel industry has been decimated by COVID-related travel restrictions and lockdowns and ongoing uncertainties about the end of the pandemic. All travel players have been affected, some more than the others.

The most vulnerable are the midsize and smaller players and it is hunting season for the big guys like Booking Holdings, who can pick and choose weakened entities to fill in technology needs, expand market presence or product lines. This is exactly what is happening with the recent acquisitions by Booking.com.

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