The recent global distribution tie-ups with Inter-Continental Hotels Group, Hilton Hotels Corporation and Accor mark a change in the company’s strategy, which in the past has been to recruit on a property-by-property basis.
Chief executive Kurt Ekert said: “We have done chain level deals and this is a very different dynamic for us. Traditionally for wholesale agreements there are release dates but we are bringing in all the room types and last-minute availability adding more breadth and depth.”
He added that the traditional property relationships would be safeguarded and remain the core of the business.
Ekert insisted the deals with Inter-Continental and Hilton were long-term and had not come about as a result of the economic downturn.
“It’s recognition that we can do more business together. There’s a host of inventory that we don’t tap into and that can benefit the distribution network we feed into. We began aggressively planning to do with a year ago.”
GTA will act as a merchant for the hotel chain and rates will move in line with the market to protect price transparency. Travelport’s consumer facing accommodation arm, Octopus Travel will also have access to the wider inventory but under a commercial structure agreed with each chain.
“We’re moving from having 10% to 30% of properties in those chains to a market where we do business with almost all of the properties and it’s a natural evolution.”