AboutAnywhere.com is offering what it describes as the first completely free online distribution network for the hotel industry. A press release from PRNewswire reports the company has built a global network of websites in over 30,000 destinations, accessible via http://www.aboutanywhere.com.
Now, according to the release, "any hotel regardless of size, star rating or location can create a profile containing as much content as desired, and manage reservations and bookings in a website that specializes in their destination -- at absolutely no cost."
The company refers to the hotel industry as the victim of commissions and fees of online travel agencies (OTAs) as high as 35 percent, and claims there is "no logical reason that hotels (and all travel suppliers) should pay any fees to conduct business with Internet-savvy customers."
"The beauty of this model is that smaller, boutique hotels that cannot afford to work with the OTAs will be more than happy to work with us since we do not cut into their revenue . . ." says Ashwin Kamlani, CEO of AboutAnywhere.com.
Whether the service becomes "the catalyst to end commission-based online distribution" (as stated in the release) remains to be seen, but these days any potential improvement to the bottom line deserves consideration. In addition to giving hoteliers a much needed shot in the arm, the traveling public might benefit as well.