Should hoteliers be concerned with Amazon becoming the next mega OTA?
Industry “oracles” are predicting that Amazon will become the next Expedia or Booking.com.
The industry press is full of articles about Amazon entering the travel retail space, opening travel industry-focused offices, and contacting hoteliers to strike merchant-model wholesale deals. Industry “oracles” are predicting that Amazon will become the next Expedia or Booking.com.
In my view, by adding a “merchant model” extension to their flash sale-oriented site, Amazon Local, Amazon is achieving two objectives.
On one hand, Amazon is simply “testing the waters” with all of their recent moves into the travel space. On the other hand, they are trying to expand the hotel offering of the fledgling Amazon Local. Like everyone else (Living Social, anyone?), Amazon is realizing that the flash sale model is extremely cyclical. In today’s post-recession environment, hoteliers are no longer willing to provide steep discounts and outrageous deals when they can sell their inventory at higher rates direct or via cheaper distribution channels.