It looks like Expedia is experimenting with the so-called 'Amazon model' already employed by Ctrip in China - providing a platform that allows other retailers to sell on their site.
Alongside directly-contracted hotels, the site lists rates from other OTAs, agencies, and wholesalers.
Though these rates are provided by third parties, the Ctrip customer has no visibility over who they’re booking with at the point of purchase. The actual vendor is only listed in the fine print of the booking confirmation sent after the fact - where it would read, for example, ‘booking purchased through Ctrip via Amoma.’
At Buy Tourism Online's event in Florence recently, Booking.com's Peter Verhoeven suggested that they too were looking to take a different approach in China than the pure OTA model they operate in the US and Europe. It seemed a fairly good indication that the Priceline subsidiary is considering operating more like a metasearch engine than a straightforward OTA in some markets.
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