Amazon is rumoured to be on the brink of launching its own travel service enabling users to book rooms at independent hotels and resorts.
The service will see it compete with the likes of Expedia and Proceline, among others, according to a report by Skift.
The launch will feature a crafted collection of hotels within a couple of hours drive from cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle.
Citing contacts with independent hotels asked to join the service, Amazon plans on launching on New Year's Day.
The service could be useful for small hotels that lack the marketing budget of the larger chains. These establishments would be able to upload details such as room types, availability, pricing information, and photos onto the service with Amazon taking a 15 per cent cut from bookings, according to sources. This would be a significantly smaller cut than rival hotel booking sites.
Once a user books a hotel, Amazon notifies the hotelier of the booking and would also update calendars on the Amazon's hotel service extranet.
Hotels would list rooms at standard rates but would also be free to discount rooms as well. Payments to hotels from Amazon would be sent to hoteliers in two instalments.
The report said that Amazon used TripAdvisor ratings as part of the process of choosing the hotels it hopes to participate in the new services.
The service would not only list the hotels but local attractions and other things to do near the resort. The aim would be to help build a marketplace for hotels that would otherwise find it difficult to attract customers.
Amazon is also said to be building up the travel business with the recruitment of travel marketing managers for Amazon Local in a number of US cities.
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Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.