It’s no secret online travel Goliath Booking is in a fierce battle with Airbnb to win the minds, hearts, and pocketbooks of travelers around the globe.

Booking is now claiming to have more inventory than Airbnb in the “alternative accommodations” market: 5 million compared to 4.85 million. See the Skift article here.

Two travel portals are battling. So what?

Let’s bring it back to real estate.

Years ago in the early “Web 2.0 real estate portal race”, it was all about who can accumulate the most listings. 400,000 listings. 700,000 listings. 1 million listings. 2 million listings. etc.

You know what? No consumer cares which portal has the most listings. They care about what portal has the BEST listings in the AREA (city, neighborhood, region) they are moving to. If a portal has the most listings in the country, but only 40% of the listings in Ocean Park, WA — and Ocean Park is where I was looking to buy — well, that’s a useless portal to me as a buyer.

Same thing in travel. No consumer cares about more. What I as a traveler want to know is:

  • Does portal A have comprehensive inventory in the city or region I’m looking to stay in, at the price point I’m looking at? (a portal with comprehensive budget listings in city X doesn’t mean they will be the best portal to use for luxury listings for that same area)
  • Are the places to stay on portal A cheaper than portal B? Does portal A give me a discount I can’t find elsewhere?
  • Can I find unique inventory?
  • Are the best listings available?
  • For the city and price point I’m searching — will I be missing out if I don’t search across 2-5 other portals (in addition to portal A)?

More, more, more is great. Until it’s not. I’d argue, in the online landscape we live in littered with endless noise/crap/clutter/content — more is actually less.

Curation is the future. Our brains don’t have the capacity to deal with sorting through more, any longer.

[Graphic via Phocuswire]