Amazon reportedly set to launch hotel booking site

Steven Loeb · November 20, 2014 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/3a8c

Amazon Travel, which will target independent hotels, will be competing in a very crowded market

So you're going on vacation. Depending on where you're going, you might need a new bathing suit, maybe some suntan lotion, new flip flops, a beach towel, hiking boots, a kayak, a guidebook, or whatever else you need. So you turn to Amazon, because that's the easiest way to just get everything at once, right? You go there for the convenience and because no one wants to go on a bunch of different sites to get their stuff.

Except that you had to go somewhere else to get your hotel! Damn you, Amazon, for making me have to open a new tab! You call yourself an e-commerce site? Well, I'll tell you what you can do with your e-commerce, you... wait, Amazon is getting into the hotel business? Oh, cool.

Yes, Amazon is all set to launch its own travel site, where visitors will be able to book hotels and resorts, according to a report from Skift on Thursday. 

Called Amazon Travel, it is set to feature a "curated selection of hotels within a few hours’ drive from New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle." And you won't have to wait all that long before you can use it, because the service is rumored to be going live in early January.

For the hotels, they will simply load their room types, availability, pricing information, and photos into an Amazon extranet. Then they pay a 15% commission to Amazon for the prepaid bookings, the hoteliers at the independent properties said.

It may seem odd that Amazon would get into travel, but this is something that it already does via the Amazon Local site. The company recently posted employment ads for travel market managers for Amazon Local in both Boston and New York.

The hotel booking space

The real question is, how will Amazon compete in an already extremely crowded marketplace? Not only do you have services like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline and Hotels.com to contend with, but newer ones that have been raising oodles of cash..

There is Hipmunk, a series of travel site, raised $20 million earlier this year, bring its total to $40.2 million. And hotel metasearch engine Room 77 which has raised nearly $44 million.

GetGoing, a travel site founded in January 2012 that lets you find discounted flights, moved into the market for hotels last year. The San Francisco-based startup, with backing from Y Combinator, Digital Sky Technologies, Lightbank and Data Collective, partnered with Expedia to get access to cheap rooms across 140,000 hotels worldwide.

The gold standard, though, is last-minute hotel booking application HotelTonight, which lets users book same-day rooms on the cheap from their phone. The company has raised a total of $80.35 million, and recently announced that it was opening its platform to 7-day booking.

Even Google is a part of the hotel booking space, with its Hotel Finder service!

So how will Amazon compete? Well, for one thing, its going after independent hotels, rather than the big chains, so it could be looking to fill a void, driving business to hotels that may not have had the reach and success on other similar sites.

Amazon, I suspect, will also be banking on its huge number of visitors, which is somewhere near 80 million per month, to lure hotels onto the platform. And, frankly, that really could work.

VatorNews has reached out to Amazon for comment on this report, but the company was unavailable at this time. We will update if we learn more. 

(Image source: chrysalis.deepend.com)

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Room 77, Inc.

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Room 77 is a fast and powerful search and booking engine that offers the most advanced hotel shopping experience on the Web. Travelers can simultaneously compare pricing across every major online travel agency and more, shop across a variety of room types, and book more than 120,000 hotels worldwide, all with the confidence Room 77 will help them score a great room.

HotelTonight

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HotelTonight is the ultimate way to book a same-day hotel stay via your mobile device.

Founded in 2010, HotelTonight is the first hotel booking application that is made for mobile from the ground up. HotelTonight offers some of the best pricing for last minute hotel deals in three categories: hip, elegant and basic. Perfect for business travelers, leisure travelers and locals alike.

 

Hipmunk

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Hipmunk is a meta-search travel site and app that helps save time and money by comparing top travel sites to show the perfect flight or hotel at the cheapest price. We’re eliminating the agony involved in travel planning. With Hipmunk, there’s no need to search through pages and pages of results, because we present the most convenient first. There’s also no need to toggle between several tabs to compare prices because we do that for you in one place where you know you’re getting the best deal.

GetGoing

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

GetGoing is making it easier and more affordable for flexible travelers to discover and book their next trip. With an average of one out of every five airplane seats going unsold worldwide, GetGoing enables flexible travelers to easily find and book those seats at a significant discount, while helping airlines profitably fill empty seats.

How the Traveler Wins

Using GetGoing, leisure travelers are rewarded with the best prices on flights for being flexible on their destination. For example, if a traveler is seeking a beach vacation and is willing to go to either Barbados OR Aruba, significant savings can be discovered. Or if they want a European vacation and would like to visit either Paris OR Rome – they can save big on GetGoing. A little flexibility can save a lot of money.

In addition to finding the biggest discounts on the destinations leisure travelers are considering, GetGoing also identifies many additional locations to discover, like Pandora for travel. The traveler tells GetGoing the type of destination or experience they want to have, and GetGoing helps discover other affordable destinations they may like. 

Why it Works for Airlines

GetGoing provides airlines with a new, unique customer segmentation tool that enables the airlines to target discounts only to flexible leisure travelers. This introduces a new revenue stream for airlines, without disrupting existing revenue sources. GetGoing is a technology platform that works seamlessly with airlines’ existing pricing and distribution systems, so the airlines get a new tool in their arsenal for more effective, targeted online sales. 

Through its existing airline relationships, GetGoing is currently flying to hundreds of major airports in over 50 countries worldwide. The company is currently serving 80% of the population of the top 100 major metro areas, and is rapidly expanding its airline relationships and inventory of flights to cover more areas on a rolling basis.  

GetGoing is a Y Combinator company based in San Francisco, and is backed by a number of prominent venture capital and private equity funds. For more information, please visit http://www.getgoing.com, follow us on Twitter @GetGoingTravel (http://twitter.com/getgoingtravel) or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GetGoing