TRX signed a deal with hotel metasearch engine hotelicopter to integrate hotel rates and availability from online travel agency and hotel websites into the TRX corporate booking tool, RESX.
TRX says it will display hotelicopter web rates and availability, retrieved from more than two dozen online travel agencies and scores of hotel websites, alongside corporate hotel rates to give business travelers more booking options.
But, since hotelicopter is a hotel metasearch engine, which retrieves rates and availability from more than 30 travel sites and "thousands" of hotel sites, having road-warrior users of RESX surf over to third-party websites for booking normally would create havoc for corporate travel managers handling reporting duties and monitoring compliance with corporate travel policies.
Adam Healey, hotelicopter co-founder and CEO, says the company has created a reporting tool, Ratrix, to handle reporting chores related to these online transactions and business travel is one of its target markets.
RESX users can view a hotelicopter web rate from within the corporate-booking tool, "punch out" to book the room on an online travel site such as Venere or Holiday Inn, and hotelicopter's Ratrix tool will handle the end to end reporting of the transaction for TRX, Healey says.
hotelicopter earns a supplier commission on these transactions and passes part of it along to TRX, Healey adds.
And, TRX's corporate clients also would access additional data about employee behavior.
TRX says the tracking will eliminate "the leakage problem travel procurement managers currently face."
"I have long been an advocate of including Web-rates within corporate booking tools so the business traveler can compare corporate negotiated rates with merchant rates in the market as this likely is being done already by the traveler accessing OTA rates online," says Norm Rose, a Tnooz node who runs Travel Tech Consulting. "The TRX -hotelicopter agreement is a good step towards the integration of merchant inventory into the corproate booking process."
Healey says hotelicopter has built a hotel distribution platform and will be pursuing distribution deals with travel publishers and corporate-booking tools.
The TRX deal with RESX, Healey says, is hotelicopter's first with a corporate-booking tool.
Stephen Carroll, a spokesman for TRX, says he believes competitors will follow TRX's lead on the metasearch integation.
"Our agreement with hotelicopter is truly ground-breaking," Carroll says. "To our knowledge, we are not aware of any similar deployment in the corporate booking space and we look forward to our functionality coming online in Q1."
In most corporate travel programs, hotel compliance lags air compliance by a few percentage points, Carroll says.
He says "adding more hotel bookings to the overall data set will help travel managers better manage their programs."