Joint Opaque booking systems for online travel agencies
AbstractThis paper analyzes the properties of the advanced Opaque booking systems used by the online travel agencies in conjunction with their traditional transparent booking system. In section 2 we present an updated literature review. This review underlines the interest and the specicities of Opaque goods in the Tourism Industry. It also characterizes properties of the Name-Your-Own-Price (NYOP) channel introduced by Priceline and oering probabilistic goods to potential travelers. In the section 3 of the paper we present a theoretical model, in which we wonder what kind of Opaque system can be implemented by a given online monopoly. We compare the "Opaque \Hotwire system", a NYOP system without any possibility of rebidding and the joint implementation of these two systems. We nd that the NYOP system and the joint implementation can have challenging properties if consumer's information is complete. Then, in section 4, we analyze the case of incomplete information. We develop an appropriate setting to integrate the lack of complete information of potential passengers on their relative propensity to pay. We analyze three cases corresponding to dierent levels of uncertainty and number of tickets available. We nd that in some relevant cases (average number of tickets, moderate uncertainty), the joint implementation of 2 dierent Opaque booking systems is advantageous for the Online travel Agencies (OTAs) and airlines. This result casts doubt on the current OTAs' strategies.
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Date of creation: 15 Mar 2010
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Opaque Selling; Name-Your-Own-Price; Economics of Tourism; Online Travel Agencies; Probabilistic Goods.;
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