Hotels.com is a website for booking hotel rooms online and by telephone. The company has 85 websites in 34 languages, and lists over 325,000 hotels in approximately 19,000 locations. Its inventory includes hotels and B&Bs, and some condos and other types of commercial lodging. Hotels.com was established in 1991 as the Hotel Reservations Network (HRN). In 2001, it became part of Expedia Inc. and in 2002, changed its name to Hotels.com. The company is operated by Hotels.com LP, a limited partnership located in Dallas, Texas, in the United States.
Hotels.com was established in 1991 by David Litman and Robert Diener as the Hotel Reservations Network (HRN), providing hotel booking via a toll-free phone number in the United States. In 2001, the company was acquired by USA Networks Inc (USAI) which also acquired a controlling interest in Expedia, the online travel booking company.
After buying the domain name for approximately US$11m, HRN changed its name in 2002 to Hotels.com and launched the offline brand 1-800-2-Hotels as well as allowing hotel bookings on line. There followed a period of rapid international expansion with 29 sites added over the next two years. In 2003, USAI was renamed InterActiveCorp (IAC). In 2005 IAC separated its travel business under the name Expedia Inc. Hotels.com then became an operating company of Expedia Inc.
International growth since 2002 has included web sites for North, Central and South America, Europe, Australia, Japan, China and the Pacific Rim, the Middle East and South Africa. Web sites for Indonesia and Vietnam launched in 2011. Customers in all countries can book online or by phoning one of the multilingual call centres. Calls are both toll-free and paid, depending on the country of booking.
In 2011, Hotels.com launched an iPad application and updated its mobile phone product on iPhone and Android.
On December 1, 2016, Hotels.com took over Venere.com (another Expedia owned company).
U.S. disability rights infringement
In May 2007, Hotels.com was subject to a class action complaint (Smith v. Hotels.com L.P., California Superior Court, Alameda County, Case No. RG07327029) brought against them for "ongoing discrimination against persons with mobility disabilities who desire to, but cannot, use hotels.com's worldwide reservation network to make reservations for hotel rooms". The company denied the accusation and opposed the action, but was found guilty on one count of infringing California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, and on one count in violation of Unfair Competition Law. Hotels.com then agreed to provide suitable accessibility information about hotels sold on its website.
Like its competitors (such as Agoda), Hotels.com has a loyalty program. This allows customers to claim discounts on most, but not all, hotels, regardless of hotel chain or type. For every 10 nights stayed at hotels booked with hotels.com, customers can claim a price reduction on a subsequent booking. This reduction is equivalent to the average amount paid for those nights. The reduction does not reduce taxes and fees payments and the accumulated nights are limited to 12 months only, and some other restrictions apply. The program is called "Hotels.com Rewards" (formerly "Welcome Rewards") and launched in the US, Canada and much of Latin America in 2008. It then extended to the UK and Australia in 2010, and to more than 40 additional countries in 2011.
Hotel Price Index
Starting 2004, Hotels.com has published a twice-yearly review of international hotel room price trends called the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index based on the prices paid per room by its customers using a weighted average based on the number of rooms sold in each of the markets in which it operates. Information includes notable price changes and comparisons between destinations, hotel types, and other price-related analyses for the previous six months. The Hotel Price Index is published both digitally and in print, and is aimed at journalists, the media, and hoteliers as part of its public relations.
In advertisements, Hotels.com had a character named Smart (Voiced by Ed Helms) who appeared in 2009, 2010 and 2011 advertisements. In 2012, the "Smart" character was given a new look, as part of the new global red brand launched in April of that year, his look changed from clay animation to CGI, and he no longer had a goatee, along with his outfit changed from a buttoned suit to a tuxedo, and his face also was tweaked as well.
In 2014, Hotels.com introduced the character "Captain Obvious", portrayed by actor Brandon Moynihan, who makes self-evident comments with the aim of communicating that hotels.com is the obvious choice. The campaign was devised by the ad firm Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
- Official website
Source of the article : Wikipedia