The economy is performing well and "people want to go out and enjoy things," Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: BKNG) CEO Glenn Fogel told CNBC Friday. This is especially true for millennials who continue to show a willingness to forgo buying items so they have more money for experiences like travel, he said.
Room, Airline Rates Favor Consumers
Encouragingly for holiday-goers, hotel rates across Booking's properties are on average coming down across the world, Fogel said. The expansion of low-cost airliners in the marketplace generates the same favorable outcome for consumers in slightly lower if not steady airline costs.
Given a strong demand environment, one of Booking's top priorities is generating unique traffic to its websites as opposed to driving traffic with Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) advertisements.
The "direct" channel is not only growing at the fastest rate but it is also the largest — something the company is "happy about," Fogel said.
Part of the online travel agency's success over the years can be attributed to the fact that most of its hotel listings are completely refundable, Fogel said. This advantage comes at a time when the industry appears to be shying away from offering refundable bookings.
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