Online travel agencies used to be primarily concerned with handling bookings but now Expedia, Trivago, Booking.com and TripAdvisor are all making moves to give hoteliers executable intelligence about the market and other business-to-business services.
Expedia wasn’t going to let Booking.com’s foray into an array of business to business services for hoteliers go unanswered so Expedia has launched a new mobile app just for hoteliers to better-manage their listings on the online travel agency’s site.
The Expedia PartnerCentral App, for iPhone and Android, enables hotel managers to answer guest feedback while they are still at the property; benchmark performance against competitors using MarketWatch; receive alerts and insights about events taking place in the market through an activity feed; promote last-minute inventory through Sell Tonight, and optimize and renew promotions through Expedia on the go.
In fact, the app bills itself on iTunes as Expedia PartnerCentral, Rates Inventory Extranet Manager. For Expedia PartnerCentral, property managers need a log-in to gain access to their data.
The app enables hoteliers to manage rates and inventory across all of Expedia Inc.’s core brands, including Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity and Wotif. Integration with Expedia’s newest brand, Orbitz, is likely part of the roadmap.
The app is currently available for free download in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Australia and Expedia states it will be rolled out globally throughout the rest of 2015 and 2016.
While the Expedia PartnerCentral app touts itself as providing competitive analytics, Expedia admits that side of things isn’t particularly robust at this juncture. The strength of the app at this point is enabling hoteliers to manage rates and inventory for various campaigns and for mobile.
Expedia’s release of the app for hoteliers is part of a trend as online travel agencies get deeper into the business-to-business side of the hotel industry. TripAdvisor for Business, for example, has long had an owners’ center where hoteliers can manage their listings and TripAdvisor also offers business listings by subscription.
Trivago, which is a unit of Expedia Inc., has a hotel manager center, and Booking.com made a flourish by announcing a business division and is providing booking engines to hotel websites.
To be sure, Expedia’s new mobile app does not represent the kind of commitment that Booking.com has made to accelerating its B2B initiatives for hoteliers, but it does punctuate a trend.
The new Expedia app for hoteliers is an extension of its existing desktop services and enables property managers to “modify or extend your promotions with one click” and provides “promotion strength guidance to help you build a better deal,” Expedia states.
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Photo credit: The Expedia PartnerCentral Android app, as shown in Google Play. Expedia