The deal is done, Expedia now owns Travelocity, and the roaming Gnome is hot to trot. Its a $280 Million eal that looks good for the Gnome.
“The Roaming Gnome himself whispers to us that he is very happy about the Expedia acquisition of Travelocity. It was touch and go under Sabre ownership for such a long time as Sabre, with priorities elsewhere, totally bungled ownership of Travelocity and Lastminute.com.”
A big reason for Expedia to buy Travelocity was to take control of its marketing. “While Expedia ran much of the Travelocity operation behind the scenes, Travelocity still did its own marketing and Expedia had no control over it, and little visibility into what kind of resources Travelocity would put into the marketing effort.”
Now Expedia gets to control Travelocity all the way, including its marketing activities.
“We absolutely intend to run the Travelocity business as a strong, independent North American brand,” said Sarah Waffle Gavin, Expedia Inc. spokesperson.
The Roaming Gnome, Travelocity’s mascot/advertising spokesperson since 2004, has already lived nine lives. It was depreciated and brought back to prominence when Travelocity shuffled advertising agencies a few years ago.
Expedia says the Gnome will continue to be central to Travelocity marketing “as long as the Travelocity team wants it to.” But where Expedia can most help Travelocity is in search engine marketing. this has long been a weakness for Travelocity and it is one of the areas that Expedia excels in.
So not much hope for small hotel to break into the first page of Google. It looks like more space of that crowded page is going to Traveocity in search results. Its pretty hard for small hotel to compete in that area.