Debate about the tensions in the hotel room distribution market is usually dominated by the battle between direct distribution and the large global OTAs.
Hotels understand the value global online marketplaces like Expedia and Booking.com offer, but baulk at sky high commission levels and yearn for the days they paid traditional agents just 10%.
So could a new third way rise to prominence and could this be driven by one of those bastions of third party distribution, a Global Distribution System? Amadeus certainly thinks so.
Peter Waters, director of hotel distribution at Amadeus, says the firm has been putting huge efforts into its hospitality distribution platform.
Amadeus is looking to replicate the success it has in its airline division developing the core systems that run carrier such as BA.
Intercontinental Hotels Group was the first big name customer to start rolling out Amadeus’s Global Reservation System to its portfolio of 4,800 properties.
However, Amadeus is also looking to make strides in the distribution side too.
Waters said: “We are becoming one of the biggest marketplaces for hotel content globally. We have ambition to become the largest provider of hotel accommodation.
“We have expanded from traditional city break hotels to include resort and leisure hotels and have added all commercial models relevant to our customers; pre-paid, pay on reservation or checkout.”
In four years Amadeus’s hotel offering has grown from 120,000 unique properties to 400,000 and Waters says its web services channel is growing at a compound rate of 90% year on year.
“All parts of the portfolio are growing very rapidly,” added Waters. “We offer more choice now to the professionals. They can choose which channel to book through be it chain direct or aggregator.
“We provide all inventory in a single display and they can choose through whom they want to buy it.
“They can select which rate they want to purchase and they understand as a professional agency what rewards they are going to get.”