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Travelport is still overwhelmingly tied into the air business, but this acquisition and other recent moves helps it to begin the uphill battle to diversify.
With much less than half of business travel hotel bookings going through travel agencies, Travelport acquired London-headquartered Hotelzon for its hotel-booking tool and ties with independent hotels, particularly in Europe.
The acquisition, the terms of which were not disclosed, is part of Travelport’s effort to rebrand itself as more than just an airline-centric distribution system as it tries to execute an IPO.
Travelport over the last couple of years has entered the e-payments sphere for travel agents, and has increased its hotel content, but well over 80% of its revenue is still tied to airlines and airline distribution.
In its announcement about the acquisition of Hotelzon, Travelport noted that only 30% to 50% of business travel hotel bookings are handled by corporate travel agencies and many business travelers book hotels on their own.
This trend is particularly acute in Europe, where many business travelers live within driving distance of business meetings, and book independent hotels on their own with no airline ticket tied to it. That reduces the need to use a travel agent.
The vast majority of Hotelzon’s hotel content is for independent hotels not available through global distribution systems such as Travelport.