It is the latest move by the French hotel chain to reposition its brand dotcom as “the first point of contact between travellers and the AccorHotels network.”
The prices are presented to the consumer for the trip rather than as a components. Initially the options are limited to 180 hotels in 30 countries. Members of its Le Club Accor Hotels loyalty scheme will earn points on the hotel portion of the package. In time the entire trip will earn points.
Misterfly, which secured €20 milion in funding last June, provides flights from various departure points in France, its primary market. It has recently expanded its operations to other European source markets. In 2016 it carried 367,000 passengers generating sales of €111 million.
Accor’s creation of a hotel + flight option comes a few months after Marriott launched “Vacations by Marriott”. Marriott uses Expedia’s dynamic packaging engine to power the brand, which also generates a single price for consumers. Vacations by Marriott has a dedicated URL and accesses international flight inventory.
The ability of OTAs to bundle flights and hotels and other components in the early days of ecommerce eventually gave rise to the development of airline holidays brands.
The moves by Marriott and now Accor show that hotels too can strike partnerships with technology providers and create a package holiday option of which they are in control, complicating the competitive distribution landscape. As well as the many and varied options for room-only sales, Accor and Marriott (and by extension other hotel chains to come) are now selling their rooms as part of package on their brand dotcom, as part of a package with OTAs, or as part of a package with an airline. Some even still sell via traditional tour operator brands as well.
The lines are increasingly blurred between what and how OTAs, hotels and airlines differentiate their online points of sale, while the balance of power between supplier brand dotcoms and third party distributors continues to evolve.