Expedia, a giant among giants in the online travel booking game, is struggling. Sort of. The Washington-based company was riding high at this time last year. Their profits for the third quarter of ’07 were just shy of $100 million ($99.6 million to be exact). This year’s third quarter brought $94.8 million. Still respectable considering the hits the travel industry has taken during the summer and fall. And more than enough “walking around” cash for the company’s execs and shareholders. But the announcement that profits did not meet expectations was enough to drive Expedia’s stock down more than 15%. Though the number of overall bookings on the site increased by nearly 7%, the revenue from airline tickets, Expedia’s bread-and-butter, was down nearly 7%.
So it appears that even the muscular travel agencies of the internet are not immune from these poor economic times. If the “big boys” are suffering, imaging what it is like for the brick-and-mortar travel agents who have to compete with fewer people traveling and those who are turning to the internet for better deals.
[Via Seattle Times]