Roomkey

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Roomkey
Type of site
Privately held company
Founded2012; 8 years ago (2012)
HeadquartersDallas, Texas
OwnerInterContinental Hotels Group
Hilton Worldwide
Hyatt
Marriott International
Choice Hotels
Wyndham Worldwide
Founder(s)John Davis
Key peopleSteve Sickel, CEO
IndustryHospitality
ServicesHotel Reservation metasearch engine
URLwww.roomkey.com

Roomkey, formerly Room Key, is a hotel metasearch engine.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] Roomkey is a joint venture founded by Choice Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, and Wyndham Worldwide or their respective affiliates.[1][2][4][5][6][7] There are over 45,000 hotels listed on Room Key, in 150 countries and including 60 brands.[8][9]

Roomkey's founder, John Davis, previously founded Pegasus Solutions, the first hotel distribution switch technology which streamlined global distribution systems and Internet connectivity for hotels worldwide.[10]

The company is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.[7] Its interim CEO is Steve Sickel.[11][2][12]

History[edit]

Room Key is the successor of the website Travelweb (acquired by Booking Holdings).[13]

Roomkey’s history traces to 2010 with talks between hoteliers.[14] In 2011, Room Key acquired hotelicopter, a Charlottesville, VA-based firm, and its technology platform, which provided the technology foundation for Roomkey.com.[15]

Room Key launched its beta site and added Best Western International as its first commercial partner in January 2012.[2][6][16][17] In March 2012, Room Key launched international websites in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.[18]

Room Key added Preferred Hotel Group as a commercial partner in March 2012 and Worldhotels in April 2012.[19][20] Room Key exited beta and fully launched in May 2012.[21] Best Western joined Roomkey a few days after it launched.[13]

In September 2012, Room Key added La Quinta Inns & Suites, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels and Leading Hotels of the World as commercial partners.[5] Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group was added as a commercial partner in November 2012.

In September 2014, Davis stepped down as CEO of Room Key. Steve Sickel was named interim CEO.[22][23]

In 2015, Accor CEO Sebastian Bazin mimicked a "pschitt" noise to describe Room Key. In 2016, David Kong, CEO of Best Western, called Roomkey a "big disappointment".[13]

On June 8, 2020, the company announced via email and social media that it would no longer be providing hotel search functionality and all user data would be deleted, effective immediately. The message read, in part: "At Roomkey, our goal has always been honesty. The truth is that Roomkey is in the process of redefining our business operations. Starting June 8, Roomkey.com will no longer provide hotel search services." It was unclear at the time if the company was ceasing all operations permanently or planning to relaunch with a new product in the future.[24]

Operations[edit]

Roomkey is owned by its founding partners: Choice Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, and Wyndham Worldwide.[2][3] Along with its founding partners’ properties, Roomkey’s website includes properties from commercial partners.[2][5][19] Commercial partners do not have an ownership stake in Roomkey.[17] Roomkey also has partnerships with several central reservation systems (CRS) including Sabre SynXis, Trust and TravelClick, which enable the listing of thousands of additional hotels on Roomkey’s website.[11][25]

When a Roomkey user attempts to book a room with any of Roomkey’s founding or commercial partners, the customer is directed to the partner’s site and books a room directly with the hotel.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Berzon, Alexandra (January 12, 2012). "Hotels Ally on Booking Site". The Wall Street Journal.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "In Transit; Hotels Band to Offer Their Own Search Site". The New York Times. January 22, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Meet Roomkey". The Economist. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b "New Website RoomKey.com Competes With Online Travel Agencies". CNBC 25. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "RoomKey.com hotel search site adds more chains". USA Today. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Global hotel brands join forces to launch Roomkey.com". Vator News. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Hotel chains launch Dallas-based Roomkey.com to reclaim revenue from travel sites". Dallas News. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  8. ^ "About Us". Room Key.
  9. ^ O'Neil, Sean (March 28, 2014). "As hotel booking engine Room Key turns two, it looks to loyalty personalization". Phocuswire.
  10. ^ Mike Shea (March 2000). "Room Service". Texas Monthly.
  11. ^ a b "Roomkey.com looks forward to 2nd year". Asian Hospitality. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Hospitality Majors Give Birth to New Hotel Search Engine". Fox Business. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  13. ^ a b c Deanna Ting (11 July 2016). "The Disappointing Life of Hotel Industry Booking Site Room Key". Skift.com. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  14. ^ Bilbao, Richard (May 25, 2012). "Five minutes with John Davis, CEO, Roomkey.com". American City Business Journals.
  15. ^ "Six Hotel Giants Team Up To Launch Hotel Search Engine Roomkey.com, Buy Hotelicopter". TechCrunch. January 11, 2012.
  16. ^ May, Kevin (January 11, 2012). "Hotel giants come together to launch Room Key search site". Phocuswire.
  17. ^ a b Thompson, Steven R. (January 20, 2012). "Roomkey.com sets growth strategy". American City Business Journals.
  18. ^ "Room Key launches its first international websites". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  19. ^ a b RICE, Kate (March 7, 2012). "Roomkey Adds Preferred Hotel Group as Commercial Partner". TravelPulse.
  20. ^ "What Else? Worldhotels-Room Key, WAYN's Number, Agents review suppliers, Facebook fact". Phocuswire. March 16, 2012.
  21. ^ "RoomKey.com exits beta, fully launches". Business Traveler. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  22. ^ King, Danny (September 5, 2014). "Room Key CEO to step down". Travel Weekly.
  23. ^ "Former IHG Executive Steve Sickel Joins Room Key as Interim CEO" (Press release). Business Wire. September 4, 2014.
  24. ^ "Hotels-Backed Online Search Platform Roomkey Suspends Operations". Skift. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  25. ^ King, Danny (June 28, 2012). "Room Key reaches hotel CRS deal with Sabre". Travel Weekly.
  26. ^ "Room Key launches first international sites". Gadling. Retrieved 23 January 2014.