People already booking online show brand loyalty to existing OTAs
As previously reported, a new hotel search engine, Roomkey.com, has been created by six of the world’s biggest accommodation chains, aiming to take substantial business away from well established online travel agencies such as Expedia and Priceline. The total market of people who book travel online is estimated at 90 million. The new joint venture – from InterContinental Hotels Group, Choice Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels, Marriott International and Wyndham Hotel Group – offers an inventory of nearly 30,000 properties. Other hotel brands can sign up as commercial partners as Best Western is doing.
After users choose a hotel from their search results they are directed to the hotel’s own website to place the booking. Although its precise fee structure is not available, Roomkey.com naturally charges lower fees to list properties.
Travel analysts say that because the number of people who are booking travel online is not rising, Roomkey has an uphill struggle ahead to fight for new users. Those already booking online tend to show brand loyalty to existing OTAs. However, Hilton is optimistic: “The online world is in a constant state of change […] Those who succeed will recognize that and be nimble enough to adjust.”
The Washington Post
[pictured: Beijing Parkview Wuzhou]