Booking.com is a leading online travel agency that offers a vast selection of accommodations ranging from hotels, apartments, vacation rentals, and more. The company was founded in 1996 by Geert-Jan Bruinsma in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Initially, the company was named Bookings.nl, and it started as a small online booking platform for hotels in the Netherlands.
In 2000, Bookings.nl rebranded to Booking.com and expanded its offerings to include accommodations across Europe. In 2003, the company launched its first mobile app, and in 2005, it was acquired by Priceline Group (now Booking Holdings) for $133 million.
Despite its success, Booking.com has faced several difficulties over the years. In 2007, the company was sued by the French hotel industry for unfair competition, as they believed that Booking.com's commissions were too high. However, the court ruled in favor of Booking.com, stating that the commissions were standard in the industry.
In 2010, the company faced a backlash from hoteliers in Italy, who accused Booking.com of unfair business practices. The Italian government responded by passing a law that required hotels to offer the same rates on their own websites as they did on Booking.com. Similar legislation has since been passed in several other countries.
In recent years, Booking.com has also faced competition from Airbnb, a platform that allows people to rent out their homes or apartments to travelers. However, Booking.com has continued to innovate and expand its offerings to remain a top player in the travel industry.
One of the advantages of using Booking.com is the wide range of accommodations available, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious resorts. For example, travelers can book a stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa in Hawaii, or they can opt for a budget-friendly hostel in Barcelona, Spain. The platform also offers a loyalty program, Genius, which rewards frequent users with exclusive discounts and perks.
Booking.com has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Amsterdam. Despite the challenges it has faced over the years, the company has continued to grow and evolve to meet the needs of travelers around the world. Whether you're looking for a luxury resort or a budget-friendly hostel, Booking.com is a great platform to find the perfect accommodation for your next adventure.