Published: 12 Feb 2008: Online travel agents could feel the pinch from airline consolidation as per the indications from senior executives from Orbitz Worldwide and Priceline.com.
At the Reuters Travel and Leisure Summit in Los Angeles, Steve Barnhart said online travel agencies must be increasingly creative to move unsold inventory for hotels.
"As we look at the U.S. markets, we do see specific pockets where we see suppliers asking for more assistance than they were before, in terms of moving inventories, which certainly indicates there is some softness there," Barnhart reportedly said. "But overall we´ve seen no dramatic change in trajectory in the businesses as we´ve moved over the last four, five months." he said.
"We don´t see any dramatic deceleration that causes real concern," he said.
"I understand why the airlines are consolidating and why they think it will be the best thing for that business," Jeffery Boyd, chief executive of Priceline.com. "There is a potential negative for any distribution system .... If you have consolidation, that´s not good for distributors in general."