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Published on Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Marriott shakes up distribution model with Expedia deal

Expedia and Marriott have sealed a deal which will see the online giant become the exclusive global distributor of Marriott's wholesale rates, availability, and content.

In a statement, Expedia said the new model signals a change in how Marriott approaches the redistribution of its wholesale rates and availability among third-party travel providers.

From October 15, bedbanks and other redistributors who don't have a direct connection with Marriott will have to go through Expedia's B2B division, Expedia Partner Solutions, to access inventory.

Expedia said the move will 'eliminate the complexity and inefficiency of today's wholesale redistribution model'.

"This single gateway solution will also provide a consistent and reliable shopping experience for travelers, ensuring accurate display of hotel descriptions, room rates and fees through known and trusted third party travel providers," it said.

"The wholesale distribution landscape today is fragmented and complex; hotels need to navigate an intricate web of third-party redistributors and technology standards. This new solution unlocks the power and scale of Expedia Group's technology through one point of access and uniform technology for all Marriott hotels worldwide, which will enable Marriott to more efficiently manage its wholesale redistribution."

The announcement stressed that tour operators who currently access wholesale rates from Marriott directly would continue to have this option.

"With this truly innovative solution from Expedia Group, we can increase our reach to leisure travel providers while solving distribution challenges and improving profitability for our hotels around the world," said Brian King, global officer of digital, distribution, revenue strategy & global sales, Marriott International.

What the Mole says:
This is a significant move by Marriott and won't be welcomed by many bedbanks who have relied on undercutting rate parity. It's a definite shift away from the 'them versus us' attitude that hotels have traditionally had towards OTAs and we believe other big players will quickly follow suit.

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