Travelport has swooped to acquire B2B hotel distribution technology provider Hotelzon for an undisclosed sum.
The deal is part of Travelport’s strategy to redefine and strengthen its hotel offering to both corporations and travel management companies.
The acquisition also supports the company’s drive to make booking independent hotels easier for business travellers.
The hotel industry remains highly fragmented, with the top ten global hotel chains representing less than 20% of room revenue in every region except North America, Australasia and the Middle East and Africa, according to Euromonitor research.
With only 30% to 50% of corporate hotel buying going through TMCs and many bookings still being booked direct by business travellers, the Hotelzon acquisition is designed to provide both corporations and Travelport-connected travel agencies with a booking tool with extensive independent hotel content.
Hotelzon, acquired from owner Esa Karppinen, will continue to operate under its existing brand and be led by CEO Jani Kaskinen, who will report into Niklas Andréen who heads Travelport’s global hospitality, car and advertising business.
Travelport president and CEO Gordon Wilson said: “This acquisition is part of our realising our strategic plan to redefine travel commerce, with a particular focus on growing in both the hotel and corporate travel space.
“As part of our Beyond Air vision, Hotelzon is the perfect complement to our existing capabilities with the large, global chain hotels which we are progressively connecting to our system via direct XML capabilities and our aggregation of unmatched retail rates through our ‘Rooms and More’ offering based on meta search technology.
“With Hotelzon, we will now be able to offer special corporate negotiated rates and other offerings from independent hotels to corporations and their travelllers as well as ensure a broader capability in the hotel distribution space for our TMC partners.”
Kaskinen added: “We firmly believe that with Travelport as our parent, we will benefit from their keen strategic focus and investment in both the hotel and corporate sectors.
“This, in turn, will enable us to further enhance our product and service offering as well as extend the range of international hotel content we are able to offer Hotelzon’s clients.
“It also gives Hotelzon’s independent hotel providers extensive new international reach through Travelport’s unsurpassed global network.”
Karppinen said: “I have been the owner of Hotelzon for the past 28 years and during this time I have seen the business go from strength to strength and establish themselves as a truly international company.
“In order for them to continue on this trajectory and expand into new territories, it now makes complete sense to pass on the ownership of Hotelzon to a strong company like Travelport who are exceptionally well placed to support their further growth.”