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Hotels create own booking website, sidestepping Priceline and the like

Consumer Reports News: January 13, 2012 02:23 PM

Several major hotel companies operating some of the better known hotel chains, have come together to create a website where travelers can book rooms directly and not through other trip-planning websites.

The site,, functions much like travel booking sites such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz do, but eliminates the fee such sites collect from hotel companies for reservations.

The site owners includes the companies behind such hotel chains as the Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott, among others, and there are plans to extend the service to other hotel chains and independent owners and operators as well, the Wall Street Journal reports.

As of now, the booking site serves only the U.S. market, but has plans to expand internationally.

In 2011, third-party travel sites accounted for 45 percent of all hotel rooms booked online, according to figures cited by the Journal from PhoCusWright, which tracks travel booking trends.

RoomKey will also charge hotel companies a fee for rooms booked through the site, but it will be a smaller portion of room rates than what most third-party travel and booking sites charge participating hotels, according to an interview RoomKey Chief Executive John Davis had with the Journal.

Hotels Ally on Booking Site [Wall Street Journal]
Why Expedia and Priceline Don't Want You to Hear About []

Maggie Shader

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