It’s been a big month for TripAdvisor, with two new major partnerships set to boost its instant booking function.
Mid-October saw the announcement of the brand’s “first strategic, global online travel agency partner” in the form of The Priceline Group, parent company of brands including Booking.com, Kayak, priceline.com, and agoda.com.
The Booking.com hotel inventory will be the first Priceline brand to be made available through TripAdvisor, with priceline.com and agoda.com set to follow suit in the future.
Darren Huston, President and CEO of The Priceline Group, said of the partnership, “Our mission is to help people experience the world, and we are constantly innovating how and where we engage with consumers to help them do this. We now believe this branded channel can help introduce more customers to our brands and the experiences we provide.”
The TripAdvisor instant booking platform, first introduced in June 2014 in the US, provides a branded channel for hotels, keeping the consumer informed that their booking and customer care is handled directly by the hotel or OTA featured.
Shortly after news of The Priceline Group coming on board, TripAdvisor announced another significant partnership with Wyndham Hotel Group.
The alliance between “the world’s largest hotel company” and “world’s largest travel site” sees an additional 7,700 properties added to the 235,000-strong inventory already available for instant booking.
“This additional distribution channel not only puts our 15 iconic brands in front of the right guests, but allows us to create a direct relationship with them before and after their stay,” said Josh Lesnick, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Wyndham Hotel Group.
It’s unclear as of yet whether other high-profile OTAs will follow the Priceline group, but in an interview with Skift, TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer welcomed the notion, “I would like to hope that all of the other online travel agencies will join in. You’ll have to ask them what their timing might be.”
“It’s a natural evolution, in my opinion,” continues Kaufer. “I’ve been accused of having too many natural evolutions in our short stint as a company. I always believe you need to keep moving because the online travel space is a fast moving category.”
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