Expedia becomes sole distributor of Marriott’s wholesale rates

Amid a series of setbacks through 2018, Marriott International managed to complete its assumption of Starwood, finally launching a combined loyalty program.
Redistributors no longer will receive access to Marriott International rates and inventory directly from the hotel company but may contract with Expedia Partner Solutions to obtain access. Photo credit: Marriott International

Marriott International has signed a new deal with Expedia Group that makes Expedia the exclusive distributor of Marriott’s wholesale rates. As the global optimized distributor, Expedia will become the sole gateway of Marriott’s wholesale rates, availability and content to a network of global travel providers, effective Oct. 15. Starting in October, many redistributors will no longer have access to Marriott’s rates and inventory and will have to contact Expedia Partner Solutions directly.
Marriott is introducing changes to how it approaches the redistribution of the company’s wholesale rates and availability among third-party travel providers. The company will leverage Expedia Group’s technology and enterprise-level service to create a single gateway for the redistribution of Marriott’s wholesale inventory. The optimized distribution model, provided by Expedia Group’s business-to-business arm, Expedia Partner Solutions, will eliminate the complexity and inefficiency of today’s wholesale redistribution model for Marriott hotels, the brand said in a statement. This single gateway solution will also provide a consistent and reliable shopping experience for travelers, ensuring accurate display of hotel descriptions, room rates and fees through known and trusted third-party travel providers.
“At Marriott, our highest priorities include enhancing service and transparency for consumers while driving profitability for owners and franchisees,” Brian King, global officer of digital, distribution, revenue strategy and global sales for Marriott International, said in a statement. “With this truly innovative solution from Expedia Group, we can increase our reach to leisure travel providers while solving distribution challenges and improving profitability for our hotels around the world.”

This new solution unlocks the power and scale of Expedia Group’s technology through one point of access and uniform technology for all Marriott hotels worldwide, which will enable Marriott to more efficiently manage its wholesale redistribution, according to Marriott. Redistributors will no longer receive access to Marriott rates and inventory directly from Marriott but may contract with Expedia Partner Solutions to obtain access, provided such redistributors comply with Marriott’s distribution standards. 

Tour operators who access wholesale rates from Marriott directly continue to have this option, in addition to leveraging Expedia Partner Solutions as the optimized distributor for Marriott International wholesale rates. 
Back in April, Marriott and Expedia signed a new, multiyear agreement for the hotel chain’s listings to appear on Expedia’s travel website. Marriott was able to negotiate a commission rate with Expedia. Last year, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson told Reuters that the company was trying to cut commissions for online travel agencies.