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!

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