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Expedia Is in an Expansion Bid in Thailand

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Sep. 26 2018, Updated 10:31 a.m. ET

Listing hotels in smaller cities

Expedia Group (EXPE) has teamed up with the Thai government on a program to expand the country’s tourism market by sending foreign tourists beyond the country’s main tourist attractions.

Since fewer hotels outside Thailand’s major cities of Bangkok and Phuket are listed online, foreign tourists hardly venture outside Thailand’s main tourist spots to lesser-known but equally exciting attractions. Expedia wants to change that. In collaboration with Thailand’s tourism agency, Expedia has agreed to help hotels in 55 smaller Thai cities list on its platform and increase their global exposure, the Nikkei Asian Review reports.

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Expedia’s advertising revenue fell 9.0%

Expedia operates a portfolio of online booking platforms, including brands such as Hotels.com and Travelocity. About 675 million people visit Expedia’s online booking platforms every month. The company monetizes this traffic by showing ads to visitors.

But Expedia’s advertising revenue was down 9.0% YoY to $274 million in the second quarter. Advertising revenues grew 48% YoY (year-over-year) at Snap (SNAP), 42% YoY at Facebook (FB), and 23.8% YoY at Google (GOOGL) in the second quarter. Twitter (TWTR) and Yelp (YELP) grew their advertising revenues 23% and 21% YoY, respectively, in the quarter.

Advertising contributed 10% of top line

Advertising sales accounted for ~10% of Expedia’s total revenue of $2.9 billion in the second quarter.

Thai government figures cited by Xinhua News Agency show that ~35.4 million foreign tourists arrived in Thailand in 2017, meaning listing more Thai hotels could help Expedia attract more visits to its websites and subsequently generate more advertising revenue.

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