Travelport has acquired Hotelzon, a B2B hotel distribution technology provider, from owner Esa Karppinen for an undisclosed sum.
The investment forms part of Travelport’s ongoing strategy to redefine and strengthen its hotel offering to both corporations and travel management companies.
Specifically, the acquisition also supports Travelport’s drive to make booking independent hotels easier for business travellers.
Travelport’s focus over the last few years on growing its “Beyond Air” offering, which includes hotels, car rental and payments, has been in response to the growth opportunities it has identified in these sectors as well as feedback from corporations, hotel providers and travel agency customers.
With only 30 per cent to 50 per cent of corporate hotel buying going through TMCs and many bookings still being booked direct by business travellers themselves, the Hotelzon acquisition is designed to provide both corporations and Travelport-connected travel agencies with a best-in-class booking tool with extensive independent hotel content.
The Hotelzon solution also works well when a hotel booking is not an ‘add on’ to an air booking.
This is particularly the case for travel within Continental Europe, where many business trips actually take place in the traveller’s home country or to bordering countries, and trains and cars are often the preferred method of transport rather than flights.
Hotelzon will continue to operate under its existing brand and be led by incumbent chief executive, Jani Kaskinen, who will report into Niklas Andréen who heads up Travelport’s Global Hospitality, Car & Advertising business.
Gordon Wilson, president, Travelport, said: “This acquisition is part of our realizing our strategic plan to redefine travel commerce, with a particular focus on growing in both the hotel and corporate travel space.
“As part of our Beyond Air vision, Hotelzon is the perfect complement to our existing capabilities with the large, global chain hotels which we are progressively connecting to our system via direct XML capabilities and our aggregation of unmatched retail rates through our Rooms and More offering based on meta search technology.
“With Hotelzon, we will now be able to offer special corporate negotiated rates and other offerings from independent hotels to corporations and their travellers as well as ensure a broader capability in the hotel distribution space for our TMC partners.”