The digital superhighway is finally reaching recreational vehicle (RV) parks, campgrounds, and hostels in the United States.
Monday (Nov. 17), Expedia brand websites quietly added hostels, RV parks, and campgrounds as specialty categories of lodging to the search results for select U.S. locations, tnoz.com reported.
You won’t see the new options on the homepage. To find them, you have to search for a hotel at your destination and your preferred dates, and then in the advance search filter options on the left side bar you’ll see a way to refine down to these cheaper alternatives.
Expedia is the first U.S. online travel agency or metasearch site to add listings for cabins at American RV parks and campgrounds.
Travelers can now search by accommodation types including “cabin” or “caravan park” in the dropdown menu on Expedia sites.
Inventory for RV parks and campgrounds comes first from Equity LifeStyle Properties, which manages several recreational vehicle resorts and campgrounds in the U.S.
More inventory will come from Cruise Inn. The deal, which was inked in the summer, aims to tow RV trips into the digital era, and has required back-end systems integration.
In an interview, Drew Bowering, director of key accounts at Expedia, said the company “has its eyes firmly on expanding further into outdoor hospitality, including other campgrounds, vacation rentals, small inns, and national parks product.”
The next step will be to add RV and tent sites to Expedia.com, followed by adding the listings to Expedia Inc’s other brand websites.
The listings will tend to be on the agency model. There’s no element of exclusivity to the deals.
Brands like Cruise Inn can see the deal as a way of going to RV parks and encouraging them to sign up and join their systems because they can promise to pass along the inventory to Expedia for a significant upsurge bookings.
This lure may convince RV park owners to make the investment in technological and reservation process upgrades — something tnooz said is woefully lacking in the sector.
As for Expedia, its new emphasis seems to be on offering “All the Lodging That’s Fit to Book.”
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