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Business Models, Expedia, TripAdvisor: An Overview

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Starting a hotel booking website can be a great way to make money – more people than ever are following their dreams of traveling the world, and they’re looking for a cost-effective and easy way to do it. If you’re interested in creating your own hotel booking website and app, then it’s imperative that you do a study and competitive analysis of future competitors that are already dominating the space. Here’s an overview of three current popular hotel booking websites and an analysis of their business models. is a simple site that offers accommodations, flights, and combination deals (with flight and hotel). They also offer the option to book car rentals or airport taxis through their site. makes money by charging booking fees for the convenience of bundling services. But primarily, the site makes money through charging hotels for selling their inventories – they take a percentage from the sellers and hotels that they partner with. Hotels have to pay a significant fee to be listed on their website, which is another income source for the online travel agent site. These hotels know that they have a better chance of being found and seen through an online travel agent than through their own website, so it’s an especially great route for new hotels who are trying to drum up interest and reviews.


The online booking site,, makes money in a similar way to Expedia offers everything from airline tickets and hotel rooms to car rentals, and even cruises. It’s a household name for travelers, and often one of their first stops for booking a new trip.

Expedia makes money from a few sources, and the primary one is hotel reservations. Expedia buy up a large number of hotel rooms at a discount, and then turns around to sell those rooms by marketing them as having the guaranteed lowest price.

Expedia also makes money through commissions. Hotels partner with Expedia with the goal of increasing exposure (as they know travelers are more likely to visit than their own website), and then receive a commission when their rooms are sold through the site.


TripAdvisor is a well-known online booking website, but has also made a name for itself because of its content strategy. Not only do travelers visit to actually book their travel, but they also visit the website for specific recommendations of what to do on their travel. TripAdvisor has come to realize the value of user-generated content and reviews in appealing to other travelers, and has turned that into an actionable marketing strategy.

TripAdvisor makes money in a few different ways. One of them is through straight up advertising, where the company is paid to show ads for hotels and other services on the site. TripAdvisor then gets paid for ever click and transaction that stems from these ads. TripAdvisor also makes money through booking fees.

If you’re still interested in learning how to create a hotel booking website or app, use these business models to help you get started today.

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious!With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!