Kayak.com is a power travel information aggregator
Kayak.com is different from other online travel search engine sites in that it is more of an aggregate travel-search engine than a booking engine. Instead of booking through them, Kayak allows airlines and hotels to post to their site and be included in searches, but take bookings elsewhere.
The Kayak search engine also scans the web for prices from other booking sites like Priceline, Booking.com, Hotwire, Expedia, and Hotels.com. This distinctive approach gives the customer control of which option they will book with, allowing them to easily compare and find the best price available; this flexibility makes Kayak a more popular choice among travelers.
Part of the Priceline Group since 2012, Kayak was founded in 2004 and is best known as the number one flights and travel search engine for those who would like to book flights. Kayak was cofounded by Steve Hafner and Paul English; Hafner had previously helped to found Orbitz in 1999.
Kayak has been recognized as one of the best apps for business travelers, and as one of the best overall apps for websites and travelers by Travel + Leisure in 2013. It has also been awarded with the World’s Leading Flight Comparison Award in 2013 and the World’s Leading Travel Search Website award in 2011 by the World Travel Awards.
Kayak is unique among travel sites and applications in that it allows users to compare hundreds of airlines and travel sites in one search. Where most other booking engines require airlines and hotels to sign up with them and charge a fee to book rooms through their own site, Kayak is simply an information aggregator.
There is no fee to list your hotel or vacation rental property with Kayak.
They collect the information on accommodations from all over the web, and allow the user to choose where to book, regardless of whether the booking is through another site like Priceline, or through the hotel’s own proprietary website.
When you list your site on Kayak, it truly is just that: a listing. Customers who wish to book or discover your rates will need to go elsewhere to do so unless you connect with Kayak through your own booking engine, such as Travelclick or Pegasus. This will allow Kayak to not only post your listing, but to include rates and availability in real time.
The Kayak model is terrific for the airline and hospitality businesses because a listing on kayak helps gain added exposure for those hotels that are already ranked well on sites such as booking.com, given that ratings come from the other sites.
Finally, Kayak allows hotels to display paid ads, thus allowing for more targeted marketing, as ads are likely to pop up for visitors who are searching a particular area for accommodations.
- Available in more than 20 languages and 30 countries
- 1 billion+ searches yearly
- 35 million downloads of the mobile app
- Kayak has an Alexa search engine global ranking of 571 and 166 in the United States