Last week, we brought you news that Disney would begin offering hotel rooms on Priceline.com, the popular online travel booking website. This week, more details regarding the agreement are being made available.
Previously, Disney had shunned the online travel giant, who from 2008 until present, nearly doubled its number of global travel bookings. Speculation has been that Disney was concerned that association with Priceline would negatively impact its premium brand reputation. But, in an abrupt turnaround last week, Walt Disney World announced that it would begin offering hotel room inventory through Priceline’s conventional booking engine. Disney still has no plans to utilize the site’s popular “Name Your Own Price” option.
However, it turns out that Disney has experimented with the “Name Your Own Price” option in the past. During 2006, Disney briefly made rooms at the All-Star Sports and All-Star Music, both value resorts, available through Priceline’s auction engine. The rooms sold for as low as $35 per night, less than half the price of Disney’s cheapest rate for the resort rooms.
It is also interesting to note that the Disney-Priceline agreement does not include making rooms available on Booking.com, Priceline’s European subsidiary. The detail is significant, because Booking.com is Europe’s biggest online travel site, and as such, has obviously contributed heavily to Priceline’s growth.
Still, Disney’s objective would seem to be making hotel rooms available across as many channels as possible, as they are currently facing a nearly 9 percent slump in hotel occupancy.