Booking.com was founded when the two websites booking.nl and booking.org decided to merge and form one travel website.
Image: company website
Stef Noorden served as the first CEO of the company, and it started as a small startup in 1996 in Enschede, Amsterdam, Netherlands. As of today it boasts 934,835 properties worldwide with 93,820,000 verified reviews, and it has the highest number of unique website visitors.
It is headquarted in Amsterdam. In July 2015, The Priceline Group acquired booking.com for $133million. The integration of Active Hotels Limited and booking.com helped The Priceline Group from a financial crisis by improving its financial position from loss in 2002 to profit in 2011. It was touted as the “best acquisition in the Internet History”.
For adveritising, it is the biggest spender on google adwords and has received the award for the same in Travel & Tourism category in 2011. It has also launched many apps such as Booking.com Tonight which helped the customers to book the hotels last minute, i.e., by offering them same night hotels at the discounted prices. Also, to make bookings hassle free for customers they launched an app on native Kindle fire app so that the customers can access their bookings anytime, anywhere. It has received criticism due to its dominant presence in the travel and tourism industry. Competitive authorities in the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria and Sweden are investigating Booking.com and in 2015, Booking.com dropped its ”rate-parity” clause.