Marriott and Expedia just did something that could change the way we all book travel in the future. The two giants just completed contract negotiations regarding a multi-year deal that will be a game changer. The deal could essentially change the relationship between hotel brands and online booking agencies as we know it.
What's so spectacular about the deal between Marriott and Expedia? It comes at a time when online booking websites and hotels are essentially enemies. This new deal makes a step toward creating a partnership instead of a competition.
The deal allows Marriott and individual hotel owners under the Marriott umbrella to have more control over how their relationships with Expedia operate. In addition, Expedia gets to rise to the position of being something like a partner to Marriott and property owners under the hotel brand's umbrella. That's good news for Expedia due to the fact that Marriott is now officially the largest hotel company in the world.
Of course, Marriott's status as a powerhouse places it in a position to obtain a much lower commission rate from Expedia. No details have been released yet regarding the actual commission rate that Marriott hotel owners can expect to pay Expedia under the new deal. However, some industry insiders are speculating that Marriott was able to lower the rate down to 10 percent.
One thing we do know about the new deal between Marriott and Expedia is that hotel owners will be able to decide when and where to distribute room rates and inventory. That means that rooms that are available via Marriott's direct channels don't necessarily have to be offered through Expedia. Marriott can also provide exclusive offers and room rates to select customers and members of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program. Another very interesting detail of the deal is that Expedia will have an expanded role related to the Vacations by Marriott arm of Marriott International.