The world’s first all-property solution for hotels? It might be an OTA
Expedia has clearly defined ambitions to build the world’s first all-property solution for hotels. The company’s lodging arm calls this the Expedia Travel Platform, bringing hotel operations, revenue management, brand loyalty, data, and distribution together to provide better value to hotels.
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The resounding message from the company is that Expedia isn’t just an OTA but also a technology partner providing solutions for the travel and hospitality industries.
Expedia has always wanted to be seen as a technology company and often promotes its heavy investments in improving its products. But the ambition is greater than ever before, with the company building solutions for its ecosystem at a rapid pace.
In order to expand its perceived value to partners, the company plans to build on three pillars: operations, revenue, and data. It will invest in a modern take on a PMS, develop a global revenue management platform, and use its data trove to provide real-time insights. All in the name of improving the economics and competitiveness of its hotel partners.
Earlier this year, Expedia led a majority investment in a company called ALICE. Rather than a property management system, the company calls it a hotel operations platform. While there are some minor distinctions, ALICE is a modern PMS built for the post-legacy technology era. It’s not a big leap to include reservations capabilities for a full PMS.
In speaking about the investment in ALICE, Expedia’s VP of Global Product Benoit Jolin emphasized the importance of improving hotel operations:
“Hotel operations is the next space for disruption. No one has designed a system across the hotel: maintenance, housekeeping, guest communication. Hoteliers need to be connected and engaged across the proliferation of channels. We will see more vendors emerge that help hotels manage these touchpoints.”
Expedia first announced its Rev+ revenue management product least year. The insight that drove the investment was that the company sits on an enormous amount of data that can provide the basis for a powerful revenue management solution.
The bet has begun to pay off: the company claims 20,000 users for Rev+.
Expedia plans to use the scale and scope of its data to out-insight its competitors. And while legacy players have to deal with strict contracts that define how and where data can be used, much of Expedia’s data is its own. This is an asset that sets Expedia apart, and positions it to outperform any potential competition from other companies (such as Google).
The company can use its extensive research and testing capabilities to learn what does and doesn’t convert, and then deliver those change rapidly. This folds into the revenue management platform — making real-time recommendations to revenue managers related to pricing decisions — and throughout the rest of the organization.