NEW YORK ( The Street) -- Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report is hoping to shake up online travel reservation the same way it did with online retailing. And at least one hotel chain is paying attention.
The Internet giant, which already has ventured into such areas as cloud storage and video streaming, recently launched "Amazon Destinations" to grab market share from established travel reservation sites such as Expedia (EXPD) - Get Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. Report and Priceline (PCLN) .
"We're hoping there will be a friendly entrance (by Amazon), and we think there will be," said Choice President and CEO Steve Joyce in an interview. "For us, if they are going to be a viable channel, and they are cost-effective, then we'll do business with them."
Joyce mentioned Choice Hotels was "in conversation" with Amazon, during the company's May 6 earnings call, and that the hotelier was "looking forward to potentially striking a deal."
"Amazon Destinations" provides maps, lodging deals and information about restaurants in top vacation designations like Los Angeles, New York City and Seattle. The arrival of Amazon into travel may trigger bigger discounts offered for hotel rooms and getaway packages, but could benefit the hotels as more volume surfaces.
Joyce, who is past chairman of the International Franchise Association, also weighed in on recent efforts by McDonald's (MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation Report to refranchise 3,500 restaurants over the next four years. The aim is to tailor the menu to local preferences and put more power into the hands of franchisees. Joyce agrees that's a good decision by the Golden Arches.
"You get innovation because they aren't part of the corporate culture, you get those folks to be in business by themselves but not on their own," he said. "These guys (franchisees) have their money on the line."
And with that money at risk, there is likely a hunger to improve the menu to drive sales.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.