Online travel company Expedia began rolling out an automated booking engine for meetings and events today to select U.S. hotels. The Expedia MICE booking engine, which is produced and sold by Expedia Powered Technology, is ready-to-implement, back-end technology that hotels can integrate into their websites.
Expedia is one of a burgeoning list of tech suppliers who are attempting to simplify the often time-consuming request-for-proposal process by further automating it for small- and medium-sized meetings. Expedia claims the technology could allow hotels to answer RFPs about 20 times faster.
Using the new tool, planners can search, price, configure and book meeting space online, as well as A/V and other equipment, catering and group lodging. Hotel companies can use the technology for as many properties as they choose. The booking engine includes integrated revenue-management tools, which can link to a hotel's property-management system and allow the staff to adjust meeting and group prices dynamically to help increase revenue. Such adjustments could vary according to factors such as seasonality, day of the week, room type and number of participants.
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