Hotelbeds and other companies that move hotel inventory at wholesale rates to offline sources, are under fire as hoteliers complain about the bedbanks allegedly routing some of their discounted inventory through online travel agencies that hide the origin of the discounts and off them to the public without expressed permission.
The issue drew a spotlight late last week when online travel agency Amoma collapsed. Hoteliers had long suspected that Amoma was often repurposing their inventory meant for niche channels, such as ethnic offline travel agents, tour operators, and airline websites, and selling it to consumers online instead.
Some hoteliers argued that the spread of wholesale rates online creates a price war on search sites like Google and Trivago, pulling down overall prices.
Hotelbeds, among the largest middleman for wholesale hotel inventory, has bristled at such complaints, which it has said are unfounded.
Recently, the Palma, Spain-based company said in an interview that it had been taking action.
For example, Hotelbeds said that it reduced Amoma to about 1 percent of its sales.
“Amoma is one key example of us making sure that we’ve been significantly reducing our business with clients that hoteliers consider not to be generating value,” said Managing Director Carlos Muñoz.
A year ago, Hotelbeds created a “three strikes” policy. Now whenever it catches a customer putting inventory in the wrong channel three times, it stops sales to the customer, Muñoz said.
In the last year, Hotelbeds has had to hold back about $330 million (€300 million) worth of inventory from partners that hotels believe break contracts, Muñoz said.
Read more here
Join us November 12-15 for the Property Portal Watch Conference Madrid 2019.