Expedia has begun withholding all pre-arrival customer contact data from hoteliers with the launch of its Partner Central Conversations messaging tool, through which hoteliers must communicate with guests who have booked rooms on the OTA.
And not all hoteliers are happy with the change, with a few emails flying around the industry, especially among smaller operators who feel they should have access to customer email addresses and phone numbers from when the booking is made.
One said: “The suggestion that this is ‘to protect guest privacy’ is a complete furphy.
“The guest is our customer and is paying for our services. It is clearly about Expedia not wishing properties to have data.
“As a small business operator I do not want to have to make a special request for information for every booking nor do I want to have to go via Expedia channels each time I wish to communicate with my customer”.
But Drew Bowering, Expedia Director of Market Management in Australia, takes a different perspective.
“Expedia Partner Central Conversations provides booked guests with an easy-to use means to communicate with their selected property before and after their stay whilst protecting guests’ privacy,” he commented in an email.
“Properties can continue to request guest contact information at check-in, enabling guests an opportunity to provide the necessary consents to how such information will be used.”