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A wholesaler is a third-party marketplace that sources hotel inventory (room nights, rates, hotel amenities, packages) in bulk from hoteliers, and accommodation providers and then sells them to travel sellers such as OTAs, travel agents, DMCs, and tour operators. Travel suppliers offer hotel rooms and hotel content (hotel address, room images, amenities), which is then shared with the travel sellers. From a B2B perspective, wholesalers play a prominent role in connecting travel suppliers (hoteliers) and travel sellers (OTAs, DMCs). 

Some wholesalers focus on working in niche markets or specific hotel types, while others buy all types of hotels and distribute them globally. Through wholesalers, hotels generate more sales and OTAs get hotel products in bulk at a cost-effective price. Interestingly, wholesalers do not sell or distribute hotel inventory directly to travelers.  

But, any novice in the hotel and accommodation sector can easily get confused by the complex distribution channel. Along with that, wholesalers are coined with various names that can confuse more about the already complicated hotel distribution system. Here we are to help you know the different names of wholesalers. 

11 different names of wholesalers  

Different-terminologies-for-hotel-wholesalers-in-the-travel-industry-01
  1. Hotel suppliers  
  1. Hotel merchants   
  1. Bed banks 
  1. Consolidators   
  1. Hotel brokers 
  1. Hotel aggregators 
  1. Hotel vendors  
  1. Demand partners 
  1. Hotel providers 
  1. Hotel banks 
  1. Hotel distributors 
  1. Hotel suppliers 

Wholesalers are also called as hotel suppliers in North Americas. Hotel suppliers play a prominent role in sourcing and acquiring hotel products in bulk and selling them to hotel buyers such as OTAs, tour operators, DMCs, etc. 

  1. Hotel merchants 

Long before the evolution of the internet, wholesalers were named hotel merchants. Hotel merchants would sell hotel inventory offline to their networks, which was considered a reliable selling platform for accommodation providers. 

  1. Bed banks 

Bed banks are online version of traditional wholesalers and been a part of the hotel distribution for last 20 years. They are B2B platforms that contract supply directly from hotels and accommodation providers in bulk. Wholesalers are named bed banks mostly in European and UK market. 

  1. Consolidators 

Hotel consolidators are businesses that buy hotel rooms or accommodations in bulk and resell them at discounted rates to their customers. They don’t have direct contracts as bed banks but function in a similar fashion. 

  1. Hotel brokers 

Wholesalers are popularly known as hotel brokers in USA and Mexico. The business operations of hotel brokers are the same as consolidators and thus, sometimes hotel brokers are also called consolidators. 

  1. Hotel aggregators 

In the APAC region, wholesalers are commonly named hotel aggregators who became popular in the mid-2000s. Their business model is slightly different from wholesalers; however, they are middlemen in the hospitality industry that rents hotel rooms on lease and takes care of the marketing and operational functions of the hotel.  

  1. Hotel vendors 

Wholesalers are also universally known as hotel vendors, selling hotel products to travel buyers such as OTAs, DMCs, TMCs. It’s worth mentioning that hotel vendors are often confused with hotel amenities vendors; however, both vendors are highly different in their business. 

  1. Demand partners 

Wholesalers in the travel industry are also popularly called demand partners in the USA. They work with accommodation providers and operate similarly to the traditional wholesalers of the hospitality industry. 

  1. Hotel providers 

Hotel providers is another popular name of wholesalers in the B2B marketplace of the USA. They deal with hotel products such as hotel rooms, availability, room rates, amenities and have direct contracts with the hotels. 

  1. Hotel banks 

Wholesalers are also commonly known as hotel banks in different regions of the USA. They work like bed banks, buying hotel rooms in bulk and selling to OTAs, tour operators, etc., in bulk at a reduced price. 

  1. Hotel distributors 

In some regions of the USA, and Europe, wholesalers are also known as hotel distributors. These intermediaries operate as wholesalers negotiating special discounted rates with accommodation providers and selling it to OTAs, DMCs, tour operators, etc. 

Wholesalers are considered essential to the travel industry because they are the link between hoteliers and OTAs, metasearch engines, tour operators, DMCs, etc. Wholesalers provide the products and services that travel sellers use to run their businesses, including room nights, rates, hotel amenities, packages and much more. In every region across the globe, the wholesalers are named differently, but their business model is like the traditional distribution. We hope the different names of wholesalers help you understand the competitive hotel distribution landscape better. 

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