Wikipedia defines Opaque Inventory as follows: a term used to describe the market of selling unsold travel inventory at a discounted price (click here for more).
It is called ‘opaque’ because the supplier, in this case the hotel, remains hidden until after the reservations (purchase) is complete.
It allows hotels to reach more prices conscious consumers apart from their direct target markets. This type of hotel guest is less concerned with the specifics of the hotels facilities and services. Instead he is driven mainly by price.
The best known Opaque Travel Websites are Priceline and Hotwire:
I love William Shatner by the way. Best co-branding and marketing campaigns ever…
Priceline is a bidding website where the consumer names his price and the website matches anonymous hotel offers. Hotwire however works with a fixed price for a hotel. It is a travel search site where the consumer can compare hotel location, facilities, services and star rating; just the hotel name is hidden.
This segment is an important one and offers a substantial amount of demand to help fill your unsold rooms. Potential of such importance that many online travel agency websites have since introduced their own variant of Opaque Pricing;
- Travelocity / Lastminute – Top Secret Hotels
- Getaroom.com – Unpublished Rates
- Booking – Hidden Hotel
- GTAHotels.com – Mystery Hotel
- Hotel.de – Hotel Roulette
- HotelsCombined.com – Hotel Roulette
- TravBuddy.com – Hotel Roulette
- Easyclicktravel.com – Off The Record
- HotelDirect.co.uk – Hidden Gem’ Hotels
- BookIt.com – Mystery Hotel
- SuperBreak.com – Mystery Hotels
- Wotif.com – Wot Hotel?