October 06, 2015

Hoteliers consider every way possible to battle booking duopoly

During a session at the Hotel Distribution Event 2015 held on 30 September, speakers agreed that hoteliers continue to misunderstand the difference between the online and offline world, which, they said, has become increasingly blurred.

The battle, said Matt Luscombe, chief commercial officer and senior VP of franchise operations at InterContinental Hotels Group, is “not one of online travel agency versus online travel agency, but a duopoly versus millions of hotels.”

The analyst on the panel, Tim Ramskill, head of European travel and leisure equity research at Credit Suisse, said the very nature of the duopoly might not be attacked by regulators if recent United States’ form is anything to go by.

“In the United Kingdom, if a supermarket had more than 15% share of the market, it will be investigated. Booking.com and Expedia has 40%, but when Expedia bought Orbitz last month, that meant it had 75%, and the (U.S.) Department of Justice just waved that through,” he said.

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