Since recently integrating hotel rates from other portals like Agoda and China's portal market leader Ctrip, media are beginning to speculate that Booking.com could become the new Amazon of hotel booking portals.
To follow the trend of other hotel booking giants, Booking.com now shows hotels and their rates.
"As part of our commitment to provide customers with the best possible experiences and prices, we are testing the inclusion of low, non-reimbursable prices that we receive from independent third parties for certain accommodation on Booking.com," explains a Booking.com representative.
Third-party offers are marked on the portal separately and are an extension of the model that other external platforms use. For example, Booking.com also shows rates from other competitors like Expedia and HRS. "As with everything we do at Booking.com, we are testing various concepts and offerings that we believe could benefit our customers as we see them improve the customer experience and meet travelers' needs. "
Some media outlets are speculating that Booking.com could possibly become a marketplace where many vendors flock, something like an "Amazon" for the hotel booking sector. However, Booking.com is just for the mediation between the customers and the hotelier, where they collect a commission for the service.
When asked the elaborate, the Booking.com representative went the vague route. "With the aim of empowering people to travel the world, our aim at Booking.com is to make the entire journey as smooth and pleasant as possible. This means exploring different partnerships and product offerings to ensure that we have the options, choice, and flexibility our customers desire.
The concept of integrating hotels and rates from other portals is not new. The German Booking.com competitor HRS has been doing this for some time and has been communicating this since spring 2017 as its so-called multisource service. There is no special labeling of third-party offers here. Users book on the HRS site while the booking is actually in a partner's system. The HRS Group wants to ensure that customers get an even wider selection of hotels and always the best conditions available."
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