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The company plans to launch a site to book hotels in a limited amount of markets. The site will feature hand-picked independent hotels in each area, beginning with New York, Los Angeles, and their hometown of Seattle.
Skift spoke to several of these potential hotels, with managers saying “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 hotel booking market is extremely competitive and there are plenty of large players already in the market. However, Amazon has a few intriguing advantages: their overall traffic, their data, and their product reach.
If someone searches for New York City travel books on Amazon, the company could then show them ads for hotels there.
If someone books a hotel in Seattle, Amazon could then show them ads for rain jackets.
Those are just a couple of examples. Of course, those examples are situations that mostly benefit Amazon, rather than consumers. It remains to be seen whether or not travelers will actually book through them.
Personally, I’ll book on whichever site is cheapest, taking into account hotel point earning opportunities and rewards programs such as the one with Hotels.com. If Amazon can pass along some savings to people booking hotels since some customers will buy other items, then perhaps they can cut out a piece of the pie.
I start all of my flight & hotel research on Kayak to find the best deals!
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