Amazon.com will launch a travel service that will allow users to book independent hotels and resorts near New York, Los Angeles and Seattle, according to Skift. Amazon Travel is expected to go live around January 1, 2015.
According to participating hoteliers at independent properties, hotels will upload their availability, pricing and photos into an Amazon extranet and pay a 15% commission. Amazon is also using a pre-paid model that will result in hotels waiting for payment in two installments.
Amazon will supplement hotel listings with editorial content about local attractions near a participating property. Amazon Travel will primarily focus on hotels and resorts initially, then eventually include flights and other travel products.
Skift also reported Amazon is expanding its staff to include employees focused on travel. Amazon has already posted employment advertisements for travel market managers in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas. According to one ad in New York, the “ideal candidate has extensive sales experience, travel industry experience and a terrific reputation for achieving goals and insisting on fantastic customer relationships.”