Expedia Group and Marriott International announced that as part of a new agreement signed in April 2019, Expedia Group will become the exclusive global optimized distributor of Marriott’s wholesale rates, availability, and content to a network of global travel providers, effective October 15, 2019.
With the launch of the optimized distributor model, Marriott is introducing changes to how it approaches the redistribution of the company’s wholesale rates and availability among third-party travel providers. Through this agreement, Marriott will leverage Expedia Group’s industry-leading technology and enterprise-level service to create a single gateway for the redistribution of Marriott’s wholesale inventory. The optimized distribution model, provided by Expedia Group’s B2B arm, Expedia Partner Solutions, will eliminate the complexity and inefficiency of today’s wholesale redistribution model for Marriott hotels. 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.
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. Redistributors will no longer receive access to Marriott rates and inventory directly from Marriott but may contract with Expedia Partner Solutions to obtain access, provided such redistributors comply with Marriott’s distribution standards. Tour operators who access wholesale rates from Marriott directly continue to have this option, in addition to leveraging Expedia Partner Solutions as the optimized distributor for Marriott International wholesale rates. For Marriott hotels, the new optimized distribution model will reduce the cost, complexity, and consumer issues associated with the current redistribution marketplace.
“At Marriott, our highest priorities include enhancing service and transparency for consumers while driving profitability for owners and franchisees,” said Brian King, Global Officer of Digital, Distribution, Revenue Strategy & Global Sales, Marriott International. “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.”
To find out what this could mean for the industry as a whole, HT asked Scott Samuels, former hospitality executive and current founder/CEO of Horizon Hospitality, for his opinion on this strategic partnership.
"Strategic partnerships with hospitality giants will continue to shape the future of the hospitality industry," he explained. "Those companies possessing the most innovative and user-friendly technology will continue to flourish. This unique model is one players of all sizes will be closely watching to determine the impact this could have if they developed similar strategies. Other brands are already jumping on board with similar partnerships to expand their market share, improve internal efficiencies, and solidify their competitive advantageous."