Hotels tend to have a love-hate relationship with the OTAs. Now some of the largest OTAs are looking to deepen those relationships, moving beyond distribution with a suite of data-driven technology solutions. The move may, in part, be in response to Airbnb’s continued rise and in anticipation of their potential transitioning toward becoming a pure-play online travel agency.
Priceline’s BookingSuite division has been introducing tools for hoteliers for a while now. Expedia, the largest OTA of them all, is getting into the game with a suite of data analytics tools called Expedia Powered Technology.
Expedia Powered Technology consists of a toolkit of technology, marketing and data offerings for hoteliers. Originally introduced as a series of test-and-learns based on feedback from partners, the offerings have evolved into bespoke products for select strategic hotel customers. Red Lion Hotels Corporation, Omni Hotels & Resorts and other major hotel companies have been among those trialing the package solution.
Among the offerings, most of which are still in testing mode, is Partner Loyalty Enrollment, a solution that allows hotel partners to enlist and sign up users from Expedia sites for their brand loyalty programs. MICE Booking Technology automates the booking process for meeting organizers and hotels in real time. TravelAds Direct us a link-off version of Expedia’s popular pay per click program. A sponsored listing product offers a direct click-through to the advertising hotel’s website, resulting in easier price comparison for consumers, and more potential brand touch points, bookings, and loyalty for hotels.
Expedia appears to be moving into the revenue management solutions realm with the launch of Rev+, a tool designed to provide actionable data and insights to make smart decisions to optimize revenue. It’s unclear whether this solution is robust enough to compete against the big revenue management solution providers or is merely intended to supplement the platform capabilities of those tools.