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Amazon’s next venture? A hotel booking service, apparently….

Amazon cancels live TV streaming plans
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It appears Amazon has just found another pie into which it wants to insert its finger. This particular pastry apparently has a travel-industry filling and centers around hotel reservations.

Reportedly called Amazon Travel (who woulda thought!), the service, which is expected to go live on January 1, will begin small, offering users deals on a number of hand-picked hotels close to New York, Los Angeles, and its home city of Seattle.

Travel site Skift published details of Amazon’s next venture on Friday, saying it knew of at least two independent hotels that had already signed up to be a part of the new service, which could feature prominently on its main website.

The e-commerce giant is apparently using Trip Advisor as one of its research tools, approaching a handful of highly rated hotels on the popular review site to see if they’re interested in featuring on Amazon Travel.

Skift reports that Amazon’s aim is to lend a helping hand to independent and boutique hotels that might otherwise have a hard time getting their name out there, or simply find it difficult competing with high-profile chains. Of course, the online retailer’s intentions aren’t entirely charitable – it’ll reportedly take a 15 percent cut of any bookings made through its service. However, with so much traffic landing on its website, 15 percent could be a price worth paying if Amazon Travel helps to fill some empty rooms.

As Skift points out in its report, Amazon could even push travel-related products from its site when someone comes to make a reservation, providing the company with even more reason to promote the service.

The Seattle-based behemoth already has some experience in the area with an ‘entertainment and travel’ category on Amazon Local, but the standalone nature and expected prominent positioning of Amazon Travel appears to represent a bigger and more serious push into the space.

If you’re a big Amazon shopper, how do you like the idea of using the site to book a getaway, too? Sound off in the comments below.

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