This morning, Hotwire and TripIt announced a new partnership that allows Hotwire customers to fire their Hotwire itineraries directly over to TripIt using a button right on the confirmation page. This is development is significant not just because the guys working at TripIt used to work at Hotwire (oh, so did I!) but because it is the first OTA that has agreed to partner with TripIt.
In many ways, TripIt is the antithesis of an OTA. TripIt allows for disparate travel reservations booked from multiple sources to be easily organized in one place. The OTAs have the goal of keeping and retaining a user to book all those reservations in one place--the OTA.
We see this as smart thinking on Hotwire's part in realizing that the "walled garden" approach to selling travel has seen its day.
This isn't the first step in this direction for Hotwire; they were one of the first OTAs to actually allow searching link-off to other OTAs--realizing that consumers are going to leave and check other sites, so they might as well facilitate it and maybe even get paid for it.
TripIt is perfectly positioned to capture this new openness and transparency. We expect other forward thinking suppliers and OTAs will follow suit. They should, anyway.These insights are excerpted with permission from Tom Botts' Hudson Crossing blog.