Amazon is reportedly getting into the travel business, because why wouldn't it?
Travel industry news site Skift reports that the company is getting ready to launch its own travel service, which would feature booking at independent hotels and resorts near major cities. It would be called Amazon Travel (fittingly) and feature a "curated selection of hotels within a few hours' drive from New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle". It's expected to launch on New Year's Day.
Skift, which spoke with representatives of a handful of hotels appears to have a lot of details about how Amazon Travel will work, so it seems pretty legit. It reports:
Properties would load their room types, availability, pricing information, and photos into an Amazon extranet and would pay a standard 15% commission to Amazon for the prepaid bookings, the hoteliers at the independent properties said.
The properties would get notified by Amazon via email of bookings, hoteliers said, and they would update calendars on the extranet. The hotels would generally list their properties at rack rates, but would be free to discount, one hotelier said. Hoteliers would receive their payments from Amazon for the stays in two installments and could obviously attempt to negotiate a lower commission than the standard 15%.
Amazon isn't commenting on the matter, but you should definitely check out the report for additional details.
Meanwhile, in New York, Amazon just signed a 17-year lease for a building across the street from the Empire State Building, where it will reportedly launch a brick-and-mortar store/distribution center.
In California, it's been working with taxis, but on package delivery as opposed to transportation.
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