IHG to permit agents to book discounted rates in GDSs

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The InterContinental New York Times Square.
The InterContinental New York Times Square.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which just launched a program that offers rate discounts to customers who book direct, said it plans to enable travel agents to book the lower rates, which will be available in GDSs.

"IHG greatly values our travel agency relationships," said a company spokeswoman. "Over the coming weeks, we are working to ensure that 'Your Rate by IHG Rewards Club' is available in the GDS, as we know this is a critical booking channel for our travel partners. These rates will also be commissionable for travel agents."

IHG said direct bookers and travel agents will receive rate discounts of between 2% and 6% in the Americas region. All IHG brands are participating except for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and IHG's hotels on military bases.

IHG's brands include Holiday Inn, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites and Hotel Indigo.

Marriott and Hilton also have launched book-direct programs that enable traditional travel agents to book discounted rates in GDSs. Hyatt's book-direct program allows agents to participate, but they must book at a Hyatt website.  

The major hotel companies have launched book-direct programs with the intention of taking share away from the OTAs.

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