As if the entries of Google and TripAdvisor were not enough disruption, we now have Amazon which is entering into hotel distribution. So while buying your books and what nots, you can now go and buy a hotel room from the retail GIANT!
Amazon Local currency has already been selling some limited and wholesaler type hotel programs for a while now. But that was more of a distressed sale kind of an approach they were taking. With the new model, Amazon is asking hotels to publish their rates and availability for a longer period. For hotels, this means hotels can push full price inventories in the peak season, and of course offer discounts when they are desperate.
Does that mean Amazon is now seriously entering into travel services a la Google? Travel analysts apparently think so. Expedia CEO has already ‘welcomed Amazon into the party’.
Amazon’s rival in China, Alibaba has also revamped its travel service Alitrip.
Truth is, as Expedia Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says, travel today is a trillion dollar global industry. And everyone wants to take a share of the pie. That is why we are seeing TripAdvisor making serious entry to commission based model through TripConnect Instant booking. Wait for Google to make the next move.
Are these changes going to make it more complicated for hoteliers? In my opinion, Amazon, with its marketing capabilities, can become a serious alternative for independent and small hotels. What about TripConnect and Google Direct booking, when they are launched globally?
But as always, your success depends on how well you manage your booking channels.