Expedia and Best Western Hotels have signed an agreement to offer Expedia's MeetingMarket software at more than 200 of the chain's properties in Germany. Best Western will thus become the first global hospitality company to co-brand the technology, making it available for hotel meeting bookings via its bestwestern.de homepage beginning in January.
MeetingMarket software provides real-time availability and pricing, as well as the ability to configure and book meeting rooms, accommodations, food and beverage, and audiovisual equipment. Expedia has been piloting MeetingMarket in Germany for the past year with more than 300 hotel partners. Planners are able to automate the process of booking meetings, and participating hotels can monitor and manage group sales via performance reports and data on their competitive set.
"Today's announcement shows how we can effectively and strategically customize technological innovations for the benefit of our customers and hotels," said Carmen Duecker, deputy CEO of Best Western Hotels Central Europe. "The way in which we work with Expedia is evolving, and we look forward to seeking new ways to build on our relationship."
While Expedia did not respond to requests for more specific information about the parameters of the technology and the meetings it has been used for, the deal clearly speaks to the company's satisfaction with how the product has evolved. "It presents a huge technological leap from the manual, inefficient processes that still exist widely within the hotel meetings industry," noted Cyril Ranque, president of lodging partner services for the Expedia group.
According to an Expedia spokesperson, the company is looking to roll out the technology in the United States at a date still to be determined.