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Just over 12 months on from what was heralded as a major development in its drive to offer Instant Bookings for hotels, TripAdvisor has now inked a deal with Expedia Inc.
Instant Booking allows users to search and select a hotel on metasearch principles but secure the reservation on-site (the supplier or OTA retains the merchant of record rights).
TripAdvisor says the terms of the deal with Priceline Group were never disclosed but plenty of speculation at time suggested it was an exclusive one.
The new agreement marks a pretty big turnaround for Expedia Inc, which will be testing the partnership via its flagship Expedia brand in the US, after claiming in October 2014 that it would not participate and that TripAdvisor was one of its “less profitable channels“.
TripAdvisor says there are currently 70 partners on the Instant Booking initiative, including a number of other online travel agencies and some of the major hotel chains such as Marriott, Accor, Best Western and Wyndham Worldwide.
Still, two-and-a-half years on from the original launch of Instant Booking, TripAdvisor has consistently acknowledged that the project has faced some difficulties.
On the new Expedia Inc deal, TripAdvisor’s senior vice president of global sales, Robin Ingle, says:
“Adding Expedia to the instant booking platform nicely complements TripAdvisor’s existing hotel inventory and helps users shop for a great deal on a hotel.”
The Expedia Inc-owned brand expected to participate in the US test is Hotels.com.