Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wotif.com signs with Tourico - first time they have connected to operator inventory

With the acquisition of Travel.com.au out of the way, Wotif.com have turned their attention to new inventory sources with the announcement of a deal with Tourico for US and Canadian inventory. First time I have heard of them taking a non-direct approach to hotel contracting and to using a merchant model (net rate). Presumably required a lot of back end work to adjust the system to allow new rate structures and the issue of different forms of voucher. Also reduces the flexibility of inventory access as Tourico mainly work on a fixed contracting basis. On the upside likely to also to increase margins on US business. Wotif did not have a US office before this deal but does have a Canadian office.

UPDATE - word on the street is that it took 7-9 months to build the seamless link with Tourico - Wotif's first. Most of this dev work but some of it also commercial discussions and concluding the deal. Wotif now has the taste for integration work (will need it for life post the Travel.com.au acquisition) and third party inventory so is on the hunt for more.

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