Travel giant Expedia, which gets the majority of its revenue from selling hotel stays and has been battling with the major chains over their direct-booking efforts, is now helping Marriott International sell more hotel rooms away from Expedia turf and on Marriott’s sites.
From the 1st September, Expedia began powering flight and hotel holiday packages for Vacations by Marriott. Expedia provides the technology, as well as flights, ground transportation, and tours and activities, and Marriott provides its own hotels.
It’s a white-label deal — Expedia’s first with a hotel — and there’s no Expedia branding on the Vacations by Marriott site. Users can save money by pairing flights and hotels in a package and they can earn Marriott Rewards points when they book.
Expedia calls its Marriott agreement, which currently only covers the U.S. point of sale, a “next generation partnership”.
If you wonder why venture capitalists sometimes express a reluctance to get involved in the travel industry, these new relationships between hotels and online travel agencies could reinforce those feelings because they speak to the complexity and evolving nature of the travel industry.