Booking.com Is Restricted In Turkey, But There’s Something Interesting Happening

Because I use booking.com to book my hotels, I sometimes ask the hotels I stay in about the percentage of bookings they get from booking.com. The answer varies between 60% for some hotels and 80% for others. But it is safe to say that majority of the bookings.

For the last hotel I stayed in Istanbul, the manager claimed 75%. This is despite the fact that from within Turkey you can not use Booking.com to book properties in Turkey. So it means most of the bookings that hotels in Turkey get from Booking.com are booked from outside of Turkey or by foreigners. But some Turkish people also use booking.com to book properties within Turkey by using VPN.

Those who aren’t tech-savvy, and do not know how to by-pass the restriction, then book the properties using Kayak or Agoda. Hotels claim that after Booking.com, they get most bookings from Kayak or Agoda because they are not restricted from usage in Turkey. My last hotel claimed he gets 15% bookings from Kayak or Agoda. In summary 90% of his bookings are coming from Booking.com, Kayak & Agoda.

The interesting thing is that Kayak, Agoda and Booking.com are all owned by Booking Holdings.

Not just that Booking Holdings also own Priceline, Rentalcars.com, OpenTable, Momondo, Cheapflights and many other travel websites.

Booking.com charges 15% commissions to properties which most hotels are happy to pay as “marketing cost”. The manager I spoke to today says before this network, each hotel employed marketing staff and spent money on internet ads that may or may not always worked.

Booking Holdings posted $15 billion dollars in revenue in 2018. They don’t own any properties or any hotel rooms. Marriott posted $20 billion dollars in revenue in 2018 and it is the world’s largest hotel chain with 10,000+ properties and 1 million+ rooms. Since booking holdings has low operating costs compared to Marriott, their operating income is 2.5 times higher.

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