Wholesale distribution is poisoned: Could an OTA be the antidote?
Though not completely unexpected (in April, the two companies openly admitted they were working together on a distribution platform), the Expedia Partner Solution/Marriott agreement created an unprecedented event in the industry. But, if it is indisputable that having all the wholesale distribution transitioning through EPS will improve Marriott properties' accuracy and consistency across third-parties, the assumption that this deal will ultimately help Marriott regain control over their rates and inventory is, at best, debatable. EPS technology does not, in fact, prevent bedbanks (or Expedia itself, for that matter) from distributing wholesale rates. So, does the deal only means that EPS is going to play detective with bedbanks on Marriott's behalf? Or the partnership between these two travel Goliath has the potential to fix a distribution model that's inherently rotten? What's your take?
Chaired Professor of Digital Disruption at ESSEC Business School
'Naked' rates (net rates designed to be packaged appearing with low or even no markups on disparate online channels) have been the bane of hoteliers lives for the past two decades. While the Marriott/Expedia deal will not prevent unscrupulous distributors from trying to continue with such practices, Expedia's monitoring technology should be able to quickly identify and shut down, the offenders.
One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!.