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The hotel product is increasingly being sold electronically, and price has been identified as one of the key motivators for encouraging customers to purchase online. This study represents the first significant investigation of the electronic pricing strategies of the major international hotel companies, and analyzes the rates offered by hotels across five of the major online distribution channels. Key findings include that hotel brands currently use multiple simultaneous routes to the marketplace, and that the rates offered over these routes have to a large extent become equal. However, significant differences can be observed depending on the market segment being serviced by the brand, with direct online channels being consistently cheaper for economy and mid-priced properties and online GDS-based intermediaries offering the best value at the luxury end of the market.
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Keywords: Electronic distribution; Hotel chains; Pricing; Web reservations; e-Commerce

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: IMHI (Cornell-ESSEC), 95021 Cergy Pontoise Cedex, France

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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  • Information Technology & Tourism is the first scientific journal dealing with the exciting relationship between information technology and tourism. Information and communication systems embedded in a global net have profound influence on the tourism and travel industry. Reservation systems, distributed multimedia systems, highly mobile working places, electronic markets, and the dominant position of tourism applications in the Internet are noticeable results of this development. And the tourism industry poses several challenges to the IT field and its methodologies.
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