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Booking Holdings (BKNG) Announces Etraveli Group Acquisition

Booking Holdings Inc. BKNG has signed a definitive agreement with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners to acquire Sweden-based Etraveli Group in exchange for €1.63-billion cash.

Etraveli Group is a leading platform that offers flight booking services worldwide. The company is equipped with various technological solutions, by which it provides reliable flight information to customers or associated companies.

The latest move bodes well for Booking Holdings’ growing efforts toward building a global flights platform for providing an enhanced experience to customers.

Upon the deal completion, the acquisition will help Booking Holdings to expand its reach to travelers planning to book flight tickets. This, in turn, will generate more bookings and hence drive top-line growth.

Recovery in Travel Industry

With the latest move, Booking Holdings strives to sustain momentum in the improving travel industry, which witnessed a severe downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The rising vaccination drive and ease of restrictions in many parts of the world are improving this industry. This, in turn, is boosting the confidence of travelers and online traveling companies.

According to the Tripadvisor Travel Index for 2021 by TripAdvisor TRIP, 55% of the reported travelers are planning to travel in winter. Also, 30% of the respondents have already booked their trip, while 74% are planning to do it later this year.

Apart from this, per a report by Verified Market Research, the global online travel market is expected to hit $1.81 billion by 2028, witnessing a CAGR of 9.7% during the 2021-2028 period.

Further, a report by ResearchandMarkets reveals that the global mobile travel booking market is anticipated to register a CAGR of 12.2% from 2021 to 2029.

Competitive Travel Scenario

Given this improved scenario, not only Booking Holdings but its competitors including TripAdvisor, Expedia EXPE and Airbnb ABNB are also well poised to capitalize on the improving travel prospects.

Recently, TripAdvisor collaborated with the Official Tourism Association for Orlando, Visit Orlando, and created its first immersive audio experience in North America with the help of Amazon’s virtual assistant technology named Amazon Alexa.

On the back of Amazon Alexa, TripAdvisor aims to provide travelers innovative ways to learn about Orlando and generate travel demand in the city.

Meanwhile, Expedia was chosen as the official travel companion of WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert presented by New York City, Clive Davis and Live Nation on Aug 21.

With the move, the company spotlighted popular NYC hotels, flights and activities, offering 1,000 concert tickets to Expedia Rewards members.

Further, Airbnb joined forces with Visit Bloomington to promote safe travel with a focus on local attractions, unique stays and experiences in order to boost travel demand in Bloomington.

The partnership is also focused on supporting local shops, restaurants and workers of the city who depend on the local tourism industry.

Nevertheless, the acquisition of Etraveli Group is expected to help Booking Holdings — a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company — gain a competitive edge against peers. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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Expedia Group, Inc. (EXPE): Free Stock Analysis Report
TripAdvisor, Inc. (TRIP): Free Stock Analysis Report
Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG): Free Stock Analysis Report
Airbnb, Inc. (ABNB): Free Stock Analysis Report
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