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Hotel giant takes on online travel agencies

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Group to open up website for independent hotel bookings
Hotel giant Accor is taking aim at the dominance of online travel agencies – it plans to be one itself. The move is part of a $250 million investment up to 2018 to boost its online presence, while fighting against the influence of online booking sites like Expedia and Booking.com as well as services like Airbnb.
The French hotel group says it will open up its website to independent hotels, to be marketed in exchange for commission that undercuts that charged by OTAs.
“The transformation of our distribution platform into an open market place is a major step for the group and reflects a new approach,” the group’s chief executive, Sebastien Bazin, says.
Big OTAs charge up to 20% of the cost of a room for each one booked. The new hybrid online marketplace will be launched next month, Bazin says.
Meanwhile, Accor is rebranding to AccorHotels as part of a new digital strategy, with the tagline Feel Welcome.
TravelMole

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