Priceline Group hotels go down instant booking route via TripAdvisor
The direct booking versus OTA debate just ratcheted up a notch with news that Priceline Group’s hotel inventory will be made available via the TripAdvisor instant booking platform.
It was only relatively recently that the instant booking platform began to get serious interest with a partnership with Marriott announced in June followed by Hyatt in July.
While this latest announcement initially talks of Priceline’s global hotel inventory, it later says “some of the online travel brands” will participate with Booking.com slated to go first and the development work already started.
Priceline.com and Agoda are “likely” to list hotels on the platform down the road.
TripAdvisor’s president and chief executive Steve Kaufer describes the Priceline move as a “huge win” for travellers but it’s got to be seen as a huge win for TripAdvisor as well.
“TripAdvisor has been a long-time partner of The Priceline Group and today’s announcement is part of the continued positive evolution of that relationship.”
Meanwhile, Darren Huston, boss of the Priceline Group.
“We now believe this branded channel can help introduce more customers to our brands and the experiences we provide.”
Interesting use of the word “now” there given initial reaction to the instant booking platform by online travel giants including Expedia which has consistently said it would be steering clear.
Perhaps Google’s stealthy move into direct booking in the summer has prompted the larger OTAs to have a rethink.
Certainly, TripAdvisor’s desire to provide a seamless experience is becoming a reality through instant booking and recent developments in tours and activities.
The reviews giant unveiled the instant booking platform in the US just over a year ago via web and mobile application.
Through the booking.com integration travellers will now be able to see a Booking.com branded hotel listing and click the “Book Now” button to book on TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor then makes travellers aware that the booking lies with Booking.com and therefore all after-sale support is via Booking.com.
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