Skift Take knows a few things about website creation and it plans on sharing these skills with hotels and becoming a key tech provider to them in the near future. The distribution business would still be primary, but officials are bullish about its prospects in the B2B sector.

The Priceline Group acquired Buuteeq and Hotel Ninjas earlier this year as the company seeks to become a tech provider for hotels, and its little-noticed work for the websites of Marriott International’s brands is a harbinger of what’s going to happen next.

Although it hasn’t received much publicity, a spokesperson for, a Priceline Group subsidiary, confirms that it powers websites for “the entire Marriott global list of properties in Italian, Russian, Arabic and Brazilian Portuguese languages.”

The relationship with Courtyard by Marriott, in particular, has been “longstanding,” the spokesperson says, and supports the search and booking functions on all Marriott International sites in those four foreign languages.


For example, when users visit and click the search button they navigate to a Marriott-branded site powered by where they can continue searching and booking in Italian.

A spokesperson for Marriott International declined to comment on the chain’s relationship.

“We are always looking for ways in which we can better assist our hotel partners and we are exploring this type of integration for our other partners, as well,” the spokesperson says.

Priceline Group CEO Darren Huston tells Skift that in the future sales personnel will establish their routine distribution relationships with hotels, but might inquire if the hotel needs help in making its website more sophisticated, too.

A specialist could then arrange for a follow-up call with the hotelier to explain the range of new services that plans on providing to the hotel industry, Huston says.

Hotels Deserve Their Share of Direct Bookings

Establishing new relationships with hotels as a technology provider doesn’t mean that would benefit from all the bookings from these expanded ties, Huston said, adding that hotels deserve their fair share of direct bookings.

It also wouldn’t be hard to envision that could transition from powering search and booking in foreign languages for hotels, as it currently does for Marriott International websites, to being the behind-the-scenes force for all of a chain’s websites.

With that expanded relationship with hotels, the business model would undoubtedly get some tweaks, too, although so far details have been sparse.

You can expect to see some announcements and details about the Priceline Group’s new business line as a tech provider to hotels early next year.

Hotels will then face the perennial question: Should they support an already-powerful distributor in the name of efficiency and enhanced services at the risk of making the strong even stronger?

The hotel industry would thus have a new dilemma to grapple with.

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Tags:, buuteeq, marriott, priceline

Photo credit: powers search and booking on Marriott International's websites in Italian, Russian, Arabic and Brazilian Portuguese languages. Pictured is the Novosibirsk Marriott Hotel in the Russian Federation. Marriott

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