Amazon wants to be a travel agent, say reports

Not satisfied with newspapers and drones, Amazon is going into the hotel booking business

Amazon is set to launch a travel service, according to reports, that will allow users to book hotels through the retail giant’s website.

Amazon is seeking independent hotels, based on their Tripadvisor ratings, to put on a special part of its website, travel website Skift reported. The company will only host a few hotels in each destination and all will be ranked four stars or more.

The venture would tie into Amazon Local, its voucher and offer site. It has partnered with travel websites in the past.

Hotels will be able to load details including pricing and photos onto Amazon themselves, and the website would add its own editorial writing around the listings. Hotels will be charged 15% to use the service.

Skift said that it had spoken to three hotels, two of which had already signed up to the plan. The other — which said that most of its business came from its own website, despite being listed on other booking sites — said that it was strongly tempted to sign up. The size of Amazon’s database and the amount of data it keeps on each user would be one of the main reasons to sign up, the hotels told Skift.

The site, which could launch early in January, will initially focus on New York, Los Angeles and Seattle.