A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing or Real Help? - Expedia just launched a partner recovery program, in which to participate, hotels need to provide Expedia with a.) their lowest retail rates and b.) competitive pricing on things like holiday packages and c.) member only deals. If a property opts-in,

* Expedia will turn 25% of the commission it earned from the property in 2019 into marketing credits, which then the property can use to promote itself on Expedia: Expedia travel listings, banner advertising, etc.

* Expedia will also reduce its commission by 10% for 3 months and extend payment terms for Hotel Collect bookings by 90 days.

* Wholesale rate distribution - Hotel partners can now more effectively add wholesale rates into Expedia Partner Solutions, designed to favorably position inventory across Expedia's network of airlines, loyalty & membership organizations, financial institutions, and offline travel agencies

* Market insights - Introducing data dashboard providing trends on website traffic, stay dates, and demand source markets. This is now live and complimentary to all partners using Expedia.

* Properties can also highlight hygiene measures such as contactless check-in, cleaning measures, social distancing plans.

The question is: Is the new Expedia Partner Recovery Program a good thing for hoteliers or will further deepen the hoteliers' dependency on this OTA?

Peter O’Connor
Peter O’Connor
Professor of Strategy at University of South Australia Business School

Whether hotels want to admit it or not, OTAs will play a major role in routing business to properties during the recovery.  Hats off to Expedia for taking these steps which will help participating hotels, both financially and in terms of business volumes.  To make it work, hotels need to give Expedia the ability to compete.  So stop being suspicious and jump on this opportunity which is nearly too good to be true!

Simone Puorto
Simone Puorto
Founder | CEO | Futurist
Frederic Gonzalo
Frederic Gonzalo
Travel & Hospitality expert. Digital Marketing & Strategy Speaker and Consultant
Max Starkov
Max Starkov
Adjunct Professor NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality and Hospitality & Online Travel Tech Consultant
Osvaldo Mauro
Osvaldo Mauro
Entrepreneur & Business Developer
Steven Rubin
Steven Rubin
Director of Hotel Asset Management at MetLife Investment Management

The answer is quite simple, the program will further deepen the hoteliers' dependency on OTAs. The reason why this is a simple answer is b/c the program was developed by a for profit company during a time of economic distress. This is not a bipartisan program, Expedia may have "good intentions" to make this mutually beneficial but by not including the voice of hoteliers it cannot be a good thing for both parties. Anyone participating in this program should make sure they go into with eyes wide open realizing they need to tread lightly, maintain goals, and frequently check-in to make sure they are not creating new habits.

Loren Gray
Loren Gray
Founder of Hospitality Digital Marketing

This really reminds me more of the 'Pawn Broker' model than true help. This will indeed help those that already don't know how to help themselves, but at what long term cost? in the end, Expedia still handles all the money, in addition to having new channels of access. Expanded dependency is not truly help.

Linchi Kwok
Linchi Kwok
Associate Professor at The Collins College of Hospitality Management
Mark Fancourt
Mark Fancourt
Co-Founder at TRAVHOTECH
Nick Vivion
Nick Vivion
Founder at Ghost Works

It's certainly a marketing program geared towards platform loyalty. That doesn't make it bad, though. Hoteliers will understand the tradeoffs and use the program as just one tool among many on the road to recovery.