November 21, 2014

Amazon to get into hotel booking with launch of travel site


Amazon.com is poised to launch its own travel service, featuring booking at independent hotels and resorts near major cities, Skift has learned. The initial rollout of Amazon Travel would feature a curated selection of hotels within a few hours’ drive from New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle. The service will likely go live around January 1.

Skift spoke with representatives of three independent hotels, two of which signed up for the new Amazon service and one that was strongly considering the option.

Properties would load their room types, availability, pricing information, and photos into an Amazon extranet and would pay a standard 15% commission to Amazon for the prepaid bookings, the hoteliers at the independent properties said. The properties would get notified by Amazon via email of bookings, hoteliers said, and they would update calendars on the extranet. The hotels would generally list their properties at rack rates, but would be free to discount, one hotelier said.

Hoteliers would receive their payments from Amazon for the stays in two installments and could obviously attempt to negotiate a lower commission than the standard 15%.

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