World Panel
Viewpoint30 September 2019

Wholesale distribution is poisoned: Could an OTA be the antidote?

Digital Marketing in Hospitality

— 8 experts shared their view

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Simone Puorto, Founder | CEO | Futurist
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Frederic Gonzalo
Travel & Hospitality expert. Digital Marketing & Strategy Speaker and Consultant

In the past week, the news of Thomas Cook going bankrupt was like a media eclipse, and rightfully so. Yet, there was another bankrupcy that went rather unnoticed, and that is of Amoma, a company notorious for undercutting hotel's own rates, selling often from uncontracted inventory from wholesalers.

How does that relate with the Marriott International and Expedia Partner Solutions agreement? Well, one would guess that Marriott has had it with policing the internet and trying to find all the cases of rate disparity existing out there within its vast portfolio of hotels and contracted (and uncontracted) rates.

By going to bed - pun intended - with EPS, Marriott is chosing a key partner as gatekeeper in the hopes that the benefits will exceed the costs and potential risks of being associated with a sole partner. It's potentially a sound move. But it will be interesting to see how Booking and Ctrip will respond and adapt...

To be clear: I don't think an OTA is the antidote. It's a quick fix, a short-term solution, to a problem that requires a long-term plan and resources that many hoteliers - including Marriott - perhaps don't want to address head-on at this stage.

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