Holiday Inn Pulls Out Of Expedia, Hotels.com
from the cutting-the-channel dept
Well, the battle is clearly on between hotels and the online travel booking sites. Initially, hotels completely underestimated the power of online booking sites, assuming they would just be used by discount shoppers. The hotels handed off their lowest priced inventory to them, assuming they’d still make money from expensive business travelers. They never expected those business travelers to figure out how to use the web themselves. Late last year, the hotels started fighting back, reserving the cheapest rooms for their own websites. Now, InterContinental Hotels Group, owners of Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and a variety of other well known hotels has decided they’re pulling their inventory from Expedia and Hotels.com completely. While individual franchisees do have some ability to work with whatever channels they want, InterContinental said they’re making it clear that their franchisees need to follow this policy as part of “brand standards.” InterContinental claims the reason for pulling out of Expedia and Hotels.com is a failure to meet the “certification” process they’ve laid out, but it really just means they want more control over their own inventory. The real question is what real impact this will have on those hotels. How much of their sales comes via Expedia or Hotels.com, and are those users comparison shopping on other sites as well. Generally speaking, it seems like a backwards move to completely cut off a popular sales channel, but if they really believe they can do better elsewhere, then more power to them.