Conventional wisdom is that the hotel groups are busily growing as fast as they can to withstand the threats from the online travel agents.
For Sebastien Bazin, the CEO of Accorhotels, one of the largest hotel operators in the world and the largest outside the US, the threats are more deep-seated, however, and it is mobile payment that he sees as the greatest threat.
Forbes estimated last year that “Alipay, developed by e-commerce giant Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial, already boasts 520 million users, while Tencent’s TenPay counts 400 million.”
For OTAs such as CTrip in China, Expedia in the US and booking.com in Europe, Bazin thinks that the real threats will come from interactive technology and specifically devices in the home.
He believes that devices such as Google Assistant, Amazon Echo using Alexa, and Apple HomePod with Siri will interrupt the dominance of big online travel agents OTAs.
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