Industry News Flash: Amazon Enters the Hotel Distribution Arena

One of the biggest industry disruptions in 2015 could potentially be the emergence of e-commerce giant Amazon as a hotel booking and distribution player. With Expedia, Priceline and other OTA powerhouses currently dominating the distribution landscape, analysts are expecting Amazon to really shake up the scene.

Amazon’s initial plan is to primarily sell U.S. hotel and tour packages through special offers, generally within a specified time period. These offers may also include add-ons such as dinner at a local venue. Consumers purchase a voucher from Amazon and later redeem it by calling the supplier directly or booking via the supplier’s website. Analysts report that Amazon may eventually branch further into international markets while also introducing a travel service that enable hoteliers to load rooms and rates onto an Amazon extranet in return for commission on prepaid bookings.

Initial response to Amazon’s emergence into the hotel distribution market has been quite positive. Independent hotel chains, in particular, view Amazon as a welcome alternative distribution channel to compete with the leading OTAs while consumers appreciate access to another hotel booking option from a brand they already know and trust.

With Amazon being the first major e-commerce player to potentially disrupt the hotel distribution landscape, SkyTouch Technology and other industry players will watch and wait to see if other big name retailers will decide to enter the game!

Do you consider Amazon’s foray into the hotel distribution market a positive or a negative for the hospitality industry? Do you expect other e-commerce giants to follow suit? Weigh in below with your insights…