The Nikkei Asian Review has reported that Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE), the world’s largest online travel agency, is investing in technology and regional partners to grab customers in Asia. Expedia has good reason to focus on Asia, a region without a dominant player. With the exception of China and its domestic operators, markets are a mix of local and global players with no single company occupying over 23% market share in any major Southeast Asian country.
Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was recently in Singapore for the opening of the company’s first innovation lab in Asia and told the paper:
“The U.S. used to be the driver of our global strategy and other areas would follow. But Asia is now driving our strategy…. Our target is to at least double our share of the online travel marketplace in Asia[-Pacific]. I think we are on our way.”
The CEO also said there are two keys to winning in Asia:
- Knowing Asian consumers.
- Adopting a mobile-first attitude as Asians comprise the world’s largest number of smartphone users with a survey conducted by digital research company Criteo showing that 39% of 1,100 respondents in India, Singapore, Australia, Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia primarily use smartphones for booking travel.
However and while Expedia has a larger market share in developed markets such as Japan, Malaysia and Singapore, rival Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN) is winning in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, according to Euromonitor International:
To read the whole article, Expedia plays the Asian card, go to the website of the Nikkei Asian Review.