According to Skift, Amazon plans to initiate a travel booking service around January 1. It will begin with a selection of hotels surrounding three cities – Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York. The article quotes one potential hotelier who said Amazon was looking for independent hotels with at least a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor and would limit the number of hotel offerings in each location. Amazon will charge hotels 15% for this service but that is compatible with many online travel agencies (OTAs) now.
Apparently Amazon Travel sees this as only the beginning. They have posted job offerings for travel managers for cities across the country. With their international name recognition, one has to wonder just how far they plan to carry this Amazon Travel concept.
Of course it begs lots of questions. For example, will Amazon branch out and try to pick up hotel chains? Will they offer other types of travel services? Will they eventually look like an OTA? Because of their size and pricing power, will they develop a lower commission schedule to attract business away from other sources?
Stay tuned, this may get interesting next year.