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.
Out of the top five consumer spending categories, travel is the only one which Amazon has not aggressively pursued, so it is only a matter of time before Amazon will make a play in that area. Instead of the OTAs, why not consider AirBnB as an acquisition target? Global scale, hosts and guests are most likely Amazon Prime members already and AirBnB has created an innovative, entrepreneurial, Silicon Valley culture that is a close match to Amazon. Offering AirBnB deals or subscription models to Prime Members would be a great extension, and let's not forget that the person who built Amazon Prime now works at…Airbnb.