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Hotwire Advertises Against Parent Expedia’s New Strategic Partner Travelocity

Skift Take

Expedia and Travelocity are now strategic partners, but they still will compete against each other to a certain extent. That’s where Hotwire, an Expedia subsidiary, fits in. Hotwire is advertising to the world that its hotel deals are better than Travelocity’s — and, by extension, Expedia’s. It’s the travel industry. Get it?

— Dennis Schaal

Anyone who’s spent five minutes in the travel industry marvels as its incestuous nature, and the overlapping series of partnerships among competitors and allies.

Still it’s funny to see Hotwire, a subsidiary of Expedia Inc., running an advertisement showing how its hotel deals are better than Travelocity’s.

After all, Travelocity infamously gave in, and allied itself with frenemy Expedia, which has begun to power Travelocity’s North America websites as the duo shares revenue.

But, Hotwire, which has been very active in running a U.S. advertising campaign in 2014, is using the marketing blitz to tout how it’s hotel deals are better than Travelocity’s (and Orbitz’s, too).

By extension, Hotwire’s hotel deals are also better than Expedia’s.

“Hotwire checks the competition’s rates every day so they can guarantee their low prices,” the ad says, showing a Hotwire Hot Rate for $79 as measured against published rates from Travelocity and Orbitz for $150.

There is an asterisk, almost unreadable, noting that “Hotwire Hot Rates are different from published price services. Exact hotel shown only after booking. All bookings final.”

Well, at least Hotwire is doing its thing, operating semi-independently as it advertises to U.S. travelers that its rates are better than those of its parent’s new best friend, Travelocity.

Here’s the Hotwire ad:

The Race for Speed and Relevance in Travel Search is On

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