Few believed Hopper's statement in July that losing the Expedia partnership would have no impact. Now we know that Hopper began working on hotel deals to make itself whole and expand.
Two months after Expedia Group abruptly stopped providing Hopper with hotels and vacation rentals, Hopper announced Wednesday that it struck deals with two hotel bedbanks — Hotelbeds and WebBeds — to add more than 700,000 properties to its roster.
In July, when Expedia announced it was terminating its Hopper relationship, Hopper stated that the breakup would have no impact on its business because the app-only online travel agency had many direct relationships with hotels. But the new deals show Hopper needed to fill a gap — and to bolster its global supply.
Spain-based Hotelbeds will supply Hopper with 300,000 hotels, and Webbeds, which operates in Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, will chip in with 430,000, the companies said.
Hopper stated that these hotels would be available to “all channels,” meaning the Hopper app, as well as distribution partners such as Capital One, which is a major Hopper investor. Hopper distribution partners may have also been feeling some pain from the Expedia break-up.
Skift estimated in July that Expedia may have been providing half of Hopper’s roughly 2 million hotels. Expedia’s Vrbo had also been one of Hopper’s vacation rental providers.
“We’re proud to partner with these two global, hotel contracting powerhouses,” said Dakota Smith, co-founder and president of Hopper. “Ensuring that travelers have transparency and optionality has always been at the core of Hopper’s offerings. Partnering with Hotelbeds and WebBeds will allow us to supercharge our efforts in building a best-in-class global hotel supply network.”
Hopper stated that 65% of its hotel inventory in the U.S. comes from direct relationships with hotels, which reduces — but obviously doesn’t eliminate — the need to contract with third parties for hotel supply.
When Expedia terminated its Hopper relationship, it alleged the way Hopper marketed its price freeze, or fintech, products was misleading and a disservice to travelers. Hopper rejects that claim, arguing it is providing a vital service to ease traveler anxiety over price volatility and travel disruptions.
Frederic Lalonde, CEO & Co-Founder of Hopper, will be speaking at Skift Global Forum 2023 on Thursday, September 28.
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Photo credit: Hopper CEO and co-founder Frederic Lalonde speaking at Skift Global Forum in New York in September 2022. Source: Skift Skift