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This is great news for those of us who have trouble promoting hotels that are not offered by one affiliate, but are offered by another.
Also, IAN.com has stated they will start offering a whole new database of Bed & Breakfasts!
"In order to provide the best pricing per room and the most inventory to our Affiliate Partners we are merging our Hotels.com inventory database with that of Expedia. This merger creates numerous advantages, but it also impacts the user interface on IAN.com and it may require updating your custom search forms. We have outlined the key elements of this project. Click here to review the key elements of the project"
That is from my login screen. Personally, this is great news. Now I can do the XML feed that I've always wanted to do.
This is a good thing for them because it has looked very foolish when the two websites list wildly different rates (and a different amount of service fees) for the same search query.
I recently did a rate comparison for a one night stay for a particular hotel using Hotels.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Travelweb, Orbitz, Quikbook, Hotwire and the hotel's own website. Comparing the total cost (including all taxes and fees), Expedia was the lowest by $2 and Hotwire was the highest. While Hotwire does not name the hotel until after purchase, it was easy to discern its identity through their vacation package service.