has launched its international net rate hotel programme, building on the success of the concept in America. This will see the online travel agency partner with hotels in Europe and North America to drive bookings through its European businesses. Specially negotiated rates from more than 13,000 participating hotels will be available to Travelocity’s European customers for the first time. The programme is being introduced in the United Kingdom first and will extend to other European markets by the end of the year.
Hotels have, for some time, distributed large blocks of rooms through online travel agencies. These Internet-based resellers have negotiated special room rates with hotels, marked the prices up and sold the rooms on to the public.
However the relationship between hotels and online travel resellers has been in the news headlines recently, with several large international hotel companies expressing concerns that some travel sites are not always working in hoteliers’ and consumers’ best interests.
Travelocity’s distribution model, however, has been broadly welcomed by hoteliers, and it’s an improvement for both suppliers and consumers. It has effectively addressed hoteliers’ concerns by offering them two participation options:
* Using industry-leading technology, Travelocity accesses rates and availability directly from supplier or hotel representative chains’ central reservation systems. This gives hotels more flexibility with inventory management.
* Individual hotels may also participate via a convenient extranet to manage rates and inventory.
Under the net rate hotel programme Travelocity pays for all bookings by Travelocity MasterCard when the customer checks out, putting cash into the hands of its hotel partners faster than its competitors. In addition, the technology improves consumers’ experience by ensuring reservations aren’t lost and room types are recorded properly.
“Travelocity provides a significant advantage to our hotel partners by offering them a choice in the way they provide rates and inventory - either directly from their central reservations systems via Sabre GDS or by loading through the internet,” said Ned Booth, managing director of travelocity.co.uk.
“Hotels can now benefit from the unparalleled sales clout of an online agency with 44 million members around the world, while maintaining the flexibility to adjust rates and inventory as required.”
Properties in the net rate hotel programme benefit from enhanced descriptions and rate displays, and from packaging and cross-sell opportunities. Inventory and rates can be loaded from the hotel’s central reservation system via the Sabre global distribution system (GDS), or through the Travelocity extranet.
“We are pleased to have Travelocity as a certified distributor of our more than 3,500 hotels worldwide. They share our core business values and our commitment to protecting customers and hotel owners alike,” said Jim Young, senior vice president, global distribution, InterContinental Hotels Group. “This is a great example of Travelocity’s supplier-friendly approach to doing business.”
Hoteliers can learn more about Travelocity’s net rate hotel programme by contacting the company’s partner marketing team ([email protected]).