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Amazon is undeniably one of the most successful businesses of the past 20 years. From humble beginnings as a small online bookseller, Amazon has gone on to reshape whole sectors of the U.S. economy.
And for that, it creates both fear and awe across business sectors, including travel, that are wary of being disrupted. The company attempted to sell hotel rooms in the past, though it shuttered that short-lived effort in 2015. That means that for one of the most important companies in the world, Amazon’s impact on the travel industry has been surprisingly small to date.
However, our research indicates that it is is unlikely to stay that way for long. There is the lingering threat of renewed direct competition with Amazon but also an opportunity for travel companies to expand their paid search markets beyond Google and Facebook. Then there is the potential role that smart, voice-activated devices could play in the industry. For instance, just a few weeks ago Amazon debuted Alexa for Hospitality in partnership with Marriott International and others.
It’s dangerous to give Amazon breathing room in any industry and so travel had better think through its implications today. What has been the secret to Amazon’s success and what lessons can the travel industry learn from it? Is Amazon a future threat or ally to travel incumbents? Is it possible to “Amazon-proof” a business?
Skift Research Senior Analyst Seth Borko and Skift Executive Editor Dennis Schaal will dive into these topics on our next Skift Call: The Amazon Factor on Tuesday, July 10 at 1 p.m. EST. The call is free and open to the public. We’ll have some slides to share and will have a Q&A with the audience.