Amazon is expected to dive into the travel services industry early next year. The online e-commerce giant will initially focus on bookings for independent and boutique hotels that don’t have the marketing power of major chains according to a report from Skift.
Amazon Travel, as the service will be called, will start with a curated selection of hotels within a few hours’ drive of Los Angeles, New York and Seattle.
The publication spoke with representatives of three independent hotels that have been approached by Amazon to participate in the program. Two have already signed up while the third is giving it heavy consideration.
Amazon is reportedly using TripAdvisor as part of the vetting process for selecting hotels to work with. The plan, according to one hotelier, is to only select a few properties per destination that are rated four stars or better on the popular travel review website.
To boost the attractiveness of each property and its service in general, Amazon will publish editorials regarding nearby attractions and things to do at each destination. Such information would of course be ancillary as Amazon would no doubt leverage its massive customer database to help sell rooms.
Amazon already has so many products and categories under its wing that it’s not a stretch to see them jump into the travel industry. Whether or not they have the focus to make a serious run at it, however, remains to be seen.
Amazon Travel will debut on or around January 1, we're told.