Online travel is a weird industry when it comes to its outsized marketing spend as compared with other types of businesses.

None of this is shocking because it’s been the pattern for many years, but a BTIG investor report published Thursday put Booking Holdings’ marketing spend in a different context.

Booking Holdings, which owns brands including, Kayak and Priceline, spent around $6 billion on marketing in 2022 — and that was about 35% of its total revenue. BTIG stated that Booking gets around 50% of its traffic direct, around 20 percent from free search engine listings, and 15% from paid search engine marketing — “and it spends billions annually to get that last piece.”

That’s worth repeating: Booking Holdings spent around $6 billion on sales and marketing last year to attract just 15% of visitors to its platform. (Sure, it directs some of that spend toward goals other than luring travelers to its platforms, but you get the general idea.)

How Expedia and Airbnb Do It

Over at rival Expedia Group, its marketing spend was even more top-heavy — around 47% of revenue last year.

Airbnb is an outlier in the online travel agency space because around 90% of its customers come directly to its website or app, as well as from free listings in search engines. You’ve heard the company’s talking points ad infinitum: Airbnb is so mainstream that it’s “a noun and a verb.”

Read the full article at Yahoo! News