This ‘if you can’t beat ‘em join’ attitude is the road that Expedia, which yesterday hosted a press conference to celebrate being in the business for 20 years. Although its PR line is broadly ‘we’re entirely focused on the traveller’ it is also pushing ahead strongly with its partnership strategy. It’s clear that this is in response to growing competition and regulatory pressure, which is forcing OTAs to rethink, among other things, hotel commissions – especially in the light of the big chains loyalty strategy. Cyril Ranque, President of Lodging Partner Services, Expedia Group, said there was a “shift in thinking” underway at one of the biggest players in online travel, “from being a pure distribution platform to a being partner and enabler for the travel consumer and the entire travel industry”. He even envisaged a future of data sharing with partners, where everybody is winning and commissions fall further than they already have. In its most recent move, yesterday Ranque said that Expedia is going after the $400 billion MICE (meetings, incentives, conference, exhibitions) segment. A team in Germany has been working with 300 hotels and meeting planners in Germany to move this “highly inefficient process from online to offline”. He also announced the first white label partnership for Expedia’s meeting market technology with Best Western, which will test this in Germany on 200 hotels. (Watch out for a more in depth look at Expedia’s current and future partnership strategy in the coming days). Get the full story at EyeForTravel Read also "Best Western integrates Expedia MeetingMarket technology" Read also "