Is Amazon the 'elephant in the (hotel) room'?
The Amazon / ClearTrip partnership is far from a revolution, but it's another tiny step Bezos' company took into the travel space. I think the time has come to address the elephant in the room: acquisitions. Rather than building from the ground up and launching its own products (remember the 2014' AMZ Travel fiasco?), in fact, the company now seems to prefer a different approach, partnership with existing providers. So why not acquiring them tout court? It's intriguing to speculate on who can be on Bezos' radar: trivago? Cheap but, honestly, what would be the added value? TripAdvisor? Mew. My two cents are on Expedia. Most of the OTA's infrastructures are already in AWS anyway, and -even though expensive- that's an investment Amazon can undoubtedly support. According to analyst Brian Nowak, our industry has -so far- "proven to be immune" from the e-commerce giant but, he continues, the annual profit figure of Amazon Travel could be estimated in over half a billion dollars. Juicy.
Owner of Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited and the founder of LMA Communications Inc.
Time to short your shorts of Expedia or Priceline? For those old farts out there (like me) who remember the 'poo poo' attitude of hoteliers when the OTAs first appeared, Amazon's entry is (or will be) monumental. Amazon has killed traditional retail, just walk through the streets of your locality and see all the storefronts that are now services: nail salons, dentists, architects, dance studios, etc. Now think of the OTAs being gutted in the exact same way. Amazon is a gifted, brilliant competitor in the web space. If they put their mind to it, they'll conquer all.