While Cyril Ranque, president of Expedia Lodging Partner Services, doesn’t necessarily see Expedia launching its own hotel brands or soft brands anytime soon, he said the company does want to be viewed as a partner to hotels. “I would look at it a bit differently,” Ranque said. “I would say, we are listening to our hotel partners and hotel owners, we have great relationship with independents, midsize, large size chains, and hotel owners, and we’re listening to everyone in the industry, again, with a goal to solve their problems and make them more effective. “So, we’re building a series of tools and capabilities on the back of the Expedia platform that we’re making available to our hotel partners and our hotel owners to be more effective, again, on the Expedia marketplace and outside.” Raque noted the development of the VIP Plus tool, for example, that gives hotel partners increased exposure on the Expedia marketplace with “some badging and branding,” along with tools that help hotels be better with marketing, distribution, operations, and media solutions. Get the full story at Skift