broken heart shape cookie reflecting challenges for hotels advertising in a world without cookies

Travel marketers and advertisers have been hearing for the past few years about the sunsetting of third-party cookies. It’s grabbed their attention and made headlines because for nearly 30 years, the digital advertising industry has relied on third-party cookies to gain an in-depth understanding of how digital ads perform and collect information about the people that view them.

NB: This is an article from Expedia Group Media Solutions

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Third-party data, which relies on data from third-party cookies, is a well-established way for marketers and advertisers to gather information about people that visit a website, click on an ad, make online purchases, and more. The use of this data allows advertisers to target consumers based on specific behaviors.

As third-party cookies are slowly being removed from web browsers — Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox have already removed third-party cookies from their browsers and Google is planning on removing them from Chrome sometime in 2024 — travel marketers and advertisers need to be prepared to use first-party data to build strategic campaigns to effectively connect with their desired travelers.

Let’s take a deeper look into the nuances of third-party data and cookies and how these differ from first-party data and cookies.

What is the difference between first-party data and cookies and third-party data and cookies?

First, let’s get clarity about what a cookie is and what it does. A cookie is a file that stores data on your computer or other devices, and they’ve been around since a programmer at Netscape created them in 1994. The data that a cookie stores can include everything from web pages you’ve visited, searches you’ve conducted, whether you are logged into a site, and more.

The difference between first-party and third-party cookies is that first-party cookies live on a particular website you visit and are used only by that domain. Third-party cookies come from other sources and can be used by a business or person who does not own the domain to collect data about visitors across multiple websites.

For example, if a traveler visits to look for flights to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, a first-party cookie may be delivered by Expedia Group to their desktop or mobile device. When this traveler searches for flights to Las Vegas because they’re interested in attending the game, the first-party cookie collects this data along with information like language to understand what users are doing on the website. It’s essential to understand that no external entity is authorized to sell Expedia Group first-party data for targeted advertising. Only Expedia Group, as the domain owners of, has the authority to activate first-party data on media plans created exclusively by the Media Solutions team.

Read the full article at Expedia Group Media Solutions