World Panel
Viewpoint21 June 2019

Is Amazon the 'elephant in the (hotel) room'?

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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.

This viewpoint was created by
Simone Puorto , Travel Tech Journalist | Published Author | Consultant
Mark Fancourt
Co-Founder at TRAVHOTECH

At the heart of it all, big tech has the funds to largely do whatever they would like to do when it comes to industry entry or disruption. Why not Amazon? They have as much funding as many of the others and they know how to sell products.

Although I still make the comparison between the capabilities of an Amazon vs. those company's that have something bigger than a selling platform - a search engine and associated business platforms and operating systems. Not to mention an integrated environment by design.

Why? Because these are the tools that allow such an organisation to know far more about customer behaviour than the final sales transaction.

Eventually this greater customer knowledge will outplay those that can offer a transaction engine for inventory. Anyone selling a major search engine company? 

Amazon could buy any of the existing OTA's and distribution style businesses, but that would only replace the existing by name/brand. It will take longer to create an competing integrated environment.

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