News In Brief

Big Six Launch Own Search Site, Best Western Joins

Six of the largest hotel companies in the world have got together to launch a hotel search engine of their own, titled Roomkey.com, from January 11.

Choice Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International and Wyndham Hotel Group teamed up to start Roomkey.com to, in their own words, “provide travellers a search and book experience tailored for ease of hotel shopping through an uncluttered and trustworthy site”.

Roomkey’s mission is to “make hotel searches simple, fast and fun”. Roomkey.com users can look for and book properties at all six hotel chains involved, including their affiliates. Since then Best Western International has joined Roomkey.com.

Later on, the hotel companies say, the site will also offer independent reviews, and the ability to compare, plan and share with friends and family.

The site is not just limited in scope, but also up against a plethora of hotel search websites and aggregators, so it remains to be seen if it will get any traction. For now, it’s focused on serving travellers in the United States but it should be expanded to include other English-speaking regions soon.

Roomkey.com will be led by John F Davis III, most recently CEO of BirchStreet, and founder of hotel distribution switch technology company Pegasus and floral ordering company 1-800 Flowers.

Interestingly, Roomkey.com says it acquired its technology platform from hotelicopter in an asset deal that closed in 2011.

John F Davis III, commented, “We are thrilled to welcome Best Western and its 4000 hotels to Roomkey.com as our inaugural commercial partner. We were confident that this venture would hit the ground running, and the early addition of Best Western underscores the significant benefits that this innovative resource provides to both consumers and our hotel partners’ owners and franchisees. We look forward to continuing to build scale quickly with the addition of other large, small and independent hotel companies in the coming months.”

 

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