Published on Tuesday, August 17, 2004

InterConti ditches Expedia and Hotels.com

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is withdrawing its hotels inventory from Expedia and Hotels.com, but says it is sticking with Travelocity.

IHG announced in May that it was introducing a set of criteria for online distributors to meet in order to be able to re-sell its hotels. The hotels group is trying to gain more control over its distribution channels in a bid to allow hoteliers to better manage their inventory.

Travelocity and Travelocity Business will be able to distribute its 3,500 hotels under brands such as InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and Holiday Inn Express. Travelocity will get distressed rates to sell in its "Last minute deals" section, and will incorporate the rates into its TotalTrip dynamic packaging product to allow consumers to package their own holidays.

IHG says 70% of online reservations currently come through its own websites, and about 2% of room revenues come from bookings with the "major customer direct online travel distributors".

IHG says it wants to cut out distributors that "engage in confusing and potentially unclear marketing practices", and stick with those that will guarantee reservations through an automated confirmation process.

IHG senior vice president, Americas Brand Performance, Tom Seddon said: "These are fundamental issues that we believe need to be addressed by online third party distributors in order for us to protect our customers, franchisees and brands."

IHG is expected to make further announcements regarding online distribution partners in the near future. Senior vice president, Global Distribution, Jim Young said: "We continue negotiations with other online travel distributors that have made it clear they wish to work through these critical issues with us and have the best interests of our customers and hotel owners in mind, and we expect to be able to announce certification of other companies shortly.

"We could not secure this same commitment from Expedia, Expedia Corporate Travel and Hotels.com and we will relinquish these relationships over the next several months."

Report by Ginny McGrath

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  • Anyone else feel up to challenging Expedia?

    How fascinating that this story has attracted more views than any other, yet no comments. This looks like a milestone in the hotel industry's attempt to fight back against the power of Expedia, but will anyone else feel brave enough to go the same route?Or is it a negotiating ploy by IHG that will lead to a better deal for them? I guess we will all be watching this space . . .

    By Jon Cockerill, Thursday, August 19, 2004

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