This was the weirdest announcement that I read last week. Marriott decided to start using Booking.com to handle all the reservations that are done via their Brazilian website at Marriott.com.br.
“Weston, FL – Reflecting Marriott International’s (NYSE:MAR) increasing focus on global markets, the company announced today the improvement of its Brazilian booking website, www.marriott.com.br, in a partnership with Booking.com, (www.booking.com) to allow guests in that country to make their reservations in local currency online or on their mobile devices (m.marriott.com.br).
“As one of the world’s leading hotel operators, we want to give our Brazilian customers the ease and freedom to book their stay at any of our 3,800 properties in 74 countries in their own language and currency,” said Craig Smith, president of the Caribbean and Latin America at Marriott International. “We constantly strive to provide our customers with the best experience, from the online search process to the booking and hotel experience.” “We believe that by leveraging the Booking.com platform, language and currency capabilities, we are able to deliver customers that great experience.”
“As the company’s portfolio of hotels expands and diversifies worldwide, we are prioritizing the globalization of our eCommerce channels,” said Fabiana Farias, vice president of marketing and eCommerce for the Caribbean and Latin America at Marriott International. “The expansion of booking capabilities on our Brazilian website demonstrates Marriott’s commitment to making the booking experience with us as simple as possible.”
Hotels have been trying to generate as many bookings via their direct channels and dump OTA’s (Online Travel Agents) such as Booking.com that is owned by Priceline.
If you try to do a booking on Marriott.com.br, you can easily see that it is actually handled by Booking.com.
According to Marriott’s spoke person, the main reason for this change was to offer the guests the ability to pay in BRL.