Expedia: diversity and mobile key to Thai hotel market
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Expedia: diversity and mobile key to Thai hotel market

Expedia, the world’s largest travel website and a kingpin of the online travel agent (OTA) world, has told Thailand’s hotels that they need to diversify their reservation and payment channels. The company believes that hoteliers in the country should focus more on attracting “valuable” travellers than on filling rooms.

Expedia is up 13%, year-to-date

expedia gph

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

According to Pimpawee Nopakitgumjorn, Expedia Thailand’s director of market management, foreign visitors prefer to stay longer and book their rooms further in advance than they used to. They are also more price sensitive. She thinks that a more diverse hotel scene, with more varied payment options, will draw foreign tourists in.

“In the past, we had mainly luxury and upscale hotel partners. Now we partner with budget and three-star properties to expand our client base while staying competitive,” she said. She added that allowing customers to pay for hotel rooms at the time of booking or at check-in could be attractive, and that the company expects local partners to offer this choice.

She also expects to see strong growth in the country this year. In 2015, Expedia had 8,000 hotel partners in Thailand; in 2016, that number had risen to 12,000; this year, she expects it to add another 3,000. The company is also planning to improve its business operation, letting partner hotels access the Expedia Partner Central platform to update their information in real-time.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Expedia in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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