Losing control – a worrying vision of the future for hotels

NB: This is a guest viewpoint by Thomas Yung, a France-based web marketing specialist in the hotel sector.

This article is an economic theory drawn from my own imagination: not based on any real data but common sense and observing the relationship in a parallel industry.

This other vertical producers and distributors in the food industry.

I’m keen to state that there are honest distributors with whom the hotelier still has a good working relationship, but unfortunately that’s not the most common occurrence.

I won’t name any particular company in this article but I will speak instead of OTAs generally.

No direct sale

The OTAs have already partially got distribution under their control by imposing a rate and avaibility parity. They’ve continued to swamp the hotel’s own direct point of sale – their websites – by simple referencing and by purchasing key words.

But that isn’t enough. It’s very probable that they will increasingly control the market by prohibiting the hotel to have a booking engine on its own website or, indeed, even having its own internet site at all.

It’s even likely that telephone booking will become bound to a commission as well (or be taxed in one way or another).

Advance commission

To have a presence on the OTAs, it’s necessary to pay the costs of registration. The translation of your page will also in all likelihood cost money, putting more than ten photos on your page will also be an optional extra cost etc.

But it is especially the selling cost and the amount of advance commission that will hit most strongly.

The power of the OTAs as a promotional tool will cost more and more, to the point where they’ll offer all types of accommodation, they’ll reinforce their domination, and the rules of the game will change even quicker – inevitably not in the favour of hotels.

Retrospective commission

You’re required to pay the OTAs a commission on your turnover. Every year, for the accounting period, you have to give back a percentage of your turnover and/or profit.

You already pay a sort of back tax, as the rooms which you’ve put on the OTAs – and aren’t sold – negatively influence the algorithm and therefore your ranking on the site.

I also believe that commission will be sought on everything sold at the hotel – not only on breakfast, but also on all catering, the spa etc, and I’ll go on to explain how I think that will end up being taken from you.

Quality control system

Just as the large food distributors impose a quality control system on their suppliers (e.g. size, colour and condition of vegetables), the OTAs gradually will want to do the same.

Their aim is to become a kind of quality control benchmark, or at least a guarantee of security. Your rooms will have to be the same size, breakfast will have to be of a particular type etc.

You won’t be able to count on selling via the OTAs if you don’t have a lift, or air conditioning.

Your operating and renovation costs will go through the roof in order to maintain a presence on these distribution sites. One example of a programme is called Ecoleaders on Trip Advisor: I believe that websites will more effort into these types of initiatives to bring added value.

Control of the customer, control of image…

The customer won’t belong to you: that’s already the case, so it’s nothing new. But the OTAs are going even further.

They’ll make you wear the OTA uniform with their badge on it, and their branding will be featured on everything from the paper napkin at breakfast right through to the giveaways at reception.

Because of the customer segmentation encouraged by the OTAs through their upgrading systems, you’ll have to provide – at your own expense – various gifts, VIP welcomes etc.

What you can and can’t do, and what you must do with the customer will be determined by the OTA: customer care rules, complaints procedures, checking in/checking out systems will all be drawn up and you’ll have to adhere to them.

Store brand (PLBs)

Looking at a distributor’s store brand – the famous PLBs – now you can buy “Wal-Mart’s Great Value cheese” or “Costco’s Kirkland soft drinks”.

The same thing will happen in the hotel trade. The OTAs will put their own branding on display in the hotels and impose a whole system for them to adhere to.

To become an PLBs, all of the room stock will permanently have to be given over to the OTA, with no other distribution channel used except for personal callers and telephone booking (even then, you’d have to answer with the name of the OTA and a standardised script along the lines of “Marriott Denver, Melissa speaking, how may I help you?”.

You’ll be obliged to employ staff who can speak three languages.

For the permanent synchronisation of availability (prices will be fixed elsewhere, at base – Amsterdam for example), you’d have to use the PMS (computerised hotel connection interface) of the OTA.

So you’d therefore have access to the availability of all the other NDDs and be obliged to sell a night in another OTA establishment when your guest checks out.

It’s by imposing the PMS system that the OTA can take a commission on everything consumed by the customer during his or her stay.

Participation in marketing

The OTA spends ridiculous amounts on promotion, as do supermarkets such as WalMart and Kmart who factor in their costs of promotional material and all other marketing expenses.

It’ll be the same with the OTAs – you’ll pay for your visibility.

The OTAs won’t bother to bill you for keywords in Google, but take note: they do ask for a contribution towards marketing costs, just like the franchisor/franchisee relationship.

Each year a percentage of your turnover (or turnover achieved on the OTA) will go towards your participation in marketing activities.

In summary

The OTAs will become super hotel chains. He who controls distribution controls everything. All businesses focus themselves this way.

The distributor always has the power. BestWestern, Clarion, Choice, Days Inn, Crowne Plaza et al have an awful lot to worry about, even Accor (and I’m not kidding).

I invite you to re-read this article in three or four years and see how much of it has actually happened.

NB: This is a guest viewpoint by Thomas Yung, a France-based web marketing specialist in the hotel sector.

NB2: Money falling image via Shutterstock.

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Viewpoints

About the Writer :: Viewpoints

A founding principle of tnooz was a diversity of viewpoints from across the spectrum. Viewpoints are articles by guest contributors from around the travel and hospitality industries. The views expressed are the views and opinions of the author and do not reflect or represent the views of his employer, tnooz, its writers, or partners.

 

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  1. Claude

    Huumm, don’t agree with all this views!

    “no one size fit all needs”, meaning OTA can’t handle all specifiies and space of the market and smart hoteliers can find great niche where OTA can’t go.

    Can’t go because their booking engine or reservation process can’t do it
    Can’t go because OTA marketing tream don’t even see the niche market or the new trends at micro-levelor the opportunities of the market
    Can’t go because OTA have financial process, the niche market will not be economic substainable for them
    Can’t go because OTA team marketing don’t have the know how to handle the innovation needed to think and built innovative hotel product and innovative way of marketing
    etc
    etc
    etc
    List to be continued
    etc
    etc
    etc

    So, plenty of rooms to play for the future 😉

    Cheers

    Claude

     
  2. Dror Tirosh

    Thank you Thomas Young for a very interesting article, I do believe you are right in a lot of the points you showed.
    Also I know that in the hostel business a lot of the hostel owners I meet speak of 80%+ of their reservations arriving from OTAs mainly hostelworld and hostelbookers (which has been bough by hostelworld recently) and a lot use the PMS provided by hostelworld to manage their reservations and other aspects of their business.

    I also read in some of the comments that there is hope for hotels in google or amazon to save us from loosing control of our pricing, channels, etc. I think the opposite is more likely and here I explain why –

    I think that the comparison to the food market is good, but I think maybe a comparison to the music market is better. When walmart sells an apple replacing that apple requires a process that starts in farming and goes through packaging and transport. This is more complex when we replace the apple with a steak and even more when it is processed food.
    For us in the hotel business after a guest leaves, a change of bed sheets, proper cleaning of the room and we are ready for the next guest, the relative cost of getting a new guest in is low compared to the setup of the hotel.

    When comparing the state of the hotel industry distribution to the music industry I think we are closer to the tower record stage, we pay for marketing on broad channels, google adwords and similar are the equivalent of getting your music played on the radio. And the OTAs are like the music shop where music companies had to pay for shelf space.

    Looking at the music industry the Tower Records(our OTAs) have disappeared when google, amazon, apple came into that market but the music companies and the bands are the main losers, music value has decreased 10 folds and we now all enjoy buying one song for 99cts instead of paying 20$+ for an album.

    I think the thing to learn from that is to see who is doing well in the music industry and how they are doing to see how will we do in a similar environment to stand out and not be just another pop song on the big players inventory.

     
    • Thomas Yung

      Dror

      This comparison with the music industry is even better than with the food industry, we simply have more “visibility” (history) with the food industry

      Thanks all for yours comments !

       
  3. Colin Brownlee

    Bob, Your assessment from where I sit has been my observation. I see everyone of those scenarios happening all around me.

    Recently I had a friend who was here who has much in experience in “yield management”. He was telling me because of my occupancy, I should do progressive pricing as my occupancy gets low. I said, I can not do that. We are charging what I feel we need to as a business and what I feel is fair given the market. We are already above average. I also have all these regular customers and referrals… I just could not see playing games with them regarding pricing. We just want our guests to feel fairly treated and we try and keep in mind that they are “guests”.

    Yes, I know price plays a big issue in decisions. But if you look at markets.. there are always Walmart Shoppers and then there are Macy’s shoppers. I find the people in the budget category the hardest to deal with. It just seems it’s never enough. So we try not do anything to encourage them.

    Of course we are in a category that caters to people on vacation. But how I train the staff is… These people have “entrusted us” with their vacation. This is sacred. They dream, they plan, they save, they borrow, they remember. If we are not going to treat them with this in mind, then I feel we should not be in this business.

    But even I owned a hotel a Motel 6, I would look for ways that we could shine above other comparative options. There are small things you can do that will make customers not just satisfied, but delighted.

    I want to add more rooms. When I do, the first thing I would do is hire a concierge (Think Julie, The Love Boat). It would be their job to tap into each clients desires for the experience they want and try to help make it happen. Some people want to see Monkeys in the Jungle. well make sure they see Monkeys. Some people want local live music. Again, make it happen. People have honeymoons, anniversaries, birthdays etc. What can we do just to show them we noticed and help them celebrate this special occasion.

    Another thing I do to try and help get return and referrals is that we do a follow-up automated email asking them to fill in a survey (about 1 in 10 do). In that email, we also invite them (or friends and family) to return with a 15% credit of their total room stay towards food and beverage. Of course this is direct bookings only. We do have about 15-20% agency bookings at 20% comm.

    On the survey, we get some real nuggets of information. On top on multiple choice, we ask some questions like “If there was one thing we could have done to improve the quality of your stay, what would that be?” You would be amazed at some of things you learn. Remember, many of these people have stayed in hotels all over the world and they have experienced many good and bad ones. They are prepared to share the good experiences with you. We also ask where we failed or where we could have done better.

    Anyway, I realize I am in a completely different category then many. But the philosophy I am using is ones from companies like Apple, Whole Foods etc. Apple is the only company that I did a survey with and told them I was a “highly satisfied” customer (8 out 0f 10). They contacted me to thank me and asked me what they could have done to make me an “extremely satisfied” customer. THAT WAS IT! That is when I realized at that moment that satisfied customers were not enough.

    On another note; I love these forums. It is great to have people in the industry sharing their views, experiences etc. I have absolutely no credentials in Hotel Management. So, I am always trying to learn from people that have and combine that with my own experience. If there are other forums that would be good for small independent hotel owners, I would appreciate hearing about them.

     
  4. Bob

    Nice to see a different point of view, but I think its largely a crock of cr**. The trend has been going in the other direction steadily in the last 10 years. Nor do I see much of a the parallel with the food industry, TBH. If you look 20 yrs ago, independent hotels were at a huge disadvantage to the chains, because they could not have anywhere near the same visibility. Now they can. Chains have also steadily increased their share of online business vis-a-vis OTAs in the past 7 yrs, so they are also making progress. It also seems strange that everyone is so upset about price parity. If price parity across channels actually existed, why would Expedia pay $400 million for Trivago?

    Here’s what I think. If you are a sucky hotel these days, you’re going down. If you are priced out of the market, you are going down. If you are a chain that is not providing sufficient value to the hotel owner or guest, you are going down. And if you are an OTA that abuses your position, you are going down, too. On the other hand, if you are a good quality independent hotel with high user reviews and competitive pricing, it is the best time in history for you. And it will likely continue to get better, as the cost of doing business continues to drop.

     
    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @bob – excellent feedback, but please try and be slightly more respectful (re “crock” comment).

       
      • Bob

        Fair comment, Kevin. I will try to behave… “a little far fetched” just doesn’t reflect quite how I felt about this piece, though…

         
        • Kevin May

          Kevin May

          @bob – “a little far fetched” is absolutely grand 😉

           
    • Thomas Yung

      Bob,

      I totally agree with your last paragraph. The most important thing is your product and how you’re managing your guest.

      I believe Expedia bought Trivago, may be not because they need it, but just not to let it bought by someone else (TripAdvisor need to buy a “big” one to stay alive, with the last trivago and kayak sold, there is no more meta/ereputation/distributor available on the market).

      May be you think my point of view is crock (I had to use a dictionary to understand this word) because you are on the OTAs side as I am on the independence one, no ?

       
      • Bob

        Thomas,

        I thought that your comments were a crock (sorry again, Kevin) because I see the trend going the other way. As I said in my last paragraph (which you said you agree with), its the best time in history to be an independent hotelier. What I think is unrealistic is this view that if the OTAs were not so dominant, consumers would all just come to hotels directly. The reason booking sites are used is because they are marketplaces, where people can get a view of what options are out there. Yes, if someone repeatedly comes to your hotel month after month, I should hope you have incentivized them to book directly. But to be honest, I have yet to find a hotel that has done this for me. Why should I (the hotel booker) re-input all of my data into your in-house booking engine, when all of my data is already stored in my Expedia profile? To do the hotel a favor? As you said, hoteliers need to think more like a consumer if they want to get more direct business, not simply focus on the big bad intermediary.

        Also, regarding my being on the OTA’s side. DealAngel is a metasearch. We use pricing intelligence to find hotels selling cheaper than they usually do compared to their competitors. And show the most affordable channel to do this, chain sites included. This is exactly what a hotelier himself would do if he were looking for a hotel in another city. Look for best value. We would love to work directly with hotels and offer them a more affordable channel to distribute. Maybe someday we will.

         
        • Thomas Yung

          Bob

          we agree a lot. I am not against OTAs, I am just trying to underline what they could do if hotelkeepers just rely on this distribution channel.
          I also observe that the “partnership” hotel had with OTA is not evolving in a win/win situation.
          Why do certain OTA are buying the hotel name in a PPC program, this is not fair ! (buying the destination name is ok, they bring new customers ….)
          Why don’t they let the hotel answering review ?
          And so on…
          This is not an article about prons and crons but about a “vision” (prospective in French)
          I would be happy to publish other articles about OTAs on tnooz.com*

          Thomas Yung (artiref)

           
  5. Peter Syme

    Great article and I have first hand experience of the power of the big food distributors in a previous career. The power these companies have over their supply chain and food producers has to be experienced to be believed.

    Could this happen in the hotel sector as you are suggesting? Yes without doubt and the journey has already begun. However, it will not be the same. Fast moving technology and potential rapid growth of new entrants will ensure that the journey takes many twists and turns. Google could change everything if it decides to.

    Hotels are their own worst enemies though. Cheaper prices via distribution than direct even when you are a past customer, no follow up relationship marketing , devaluing their product and service via deal sites are just some of the issues that have helped castrate them in the race to the bottom. A small % normally owner managed as Colin points out above have control, they should held up as models for the industry.

     
    • Thomas Yung

      Peter

      You are right

      “Cheaper prices via distribution than direct even when you are a past customer” …. that drives me crazy…. I believed in guest education, but to educate guest, we need to educate hotelkeeper first otherwise it is going to be very difficult to send messages (I am not sure this is proper English)

       
  6. Harrsha Suri

    Hi Thomas,
    Good article. Focused thoughts and well articulated!

    Perhaps if we all try to look at this from the customer’s view point – increasingly customers want to stay tuned to the meta search engines & coupon providers rather than OTAs/hoteliers (Luxury tier consumption could be an exception) in my opinion.
    Consumers are wanting to be a customers to tripadvisor/other meta search engines ‘AND’ coupon providers like Groupon.com or deal.com etc. rather than an OTAs/hotelier. WhY?

    1. TripAdvisor reviews are the transaction makers or breakers; price is only the second most correlated variable to a successful transaction (hotel’s star rating, promotion, locality etc. follow) – a recent article on tnooz.com backs this opinion with statistically tested data.

    2. Meta saves online shoppers time by aggregating & comparing the price/availability

    3. However, in the price elastic destinations, customers simultaneously (while holding onto meta) look out for coupons or deals from the marketing booster sites so that they get 50%- 70% discounts.

    I understand your point of view that if someone were a loyal customer to a hotel and books directly, the hotel can establish a relationship with them and upsell or give better rates next time, however, my point of view is in spite of educating the customer about these additional benefits, they would still want to read the newsletters/promotions from the Metas/Deal sites. Look at what percent of customers would want to just fix to one hotel any way?

    One way out for Hoteliers is –
    1. Having a booking engine doesnt hurt. Outsource the development and maintenance to India/Vietnam – every street has a developer who could make this up and running for you in a couple of months and try bidding on the meta searches.

    2. Invest smartly while you make deals with the coupon sites, it is hugely important to impress & retain customers

    2. Be flexible, go with the flow, online is going to rule the world (although in developing countries 80% of hotel bookings still happen offline and this is fastly changing with improving computer skills and chinese/indians getting more comfortable with swiping their credit cards online) – Enter quickly into the online market, have a presence and keep trying for direct bookings

     
    • Thomas Yung

      Thanks Harrsha for your feedback

      > Meta saves online shoppers time by aggregating & comparing the price/availability
      Right, Meta are greats . . . as far as hotels can push their prices/offers up there !
      A good booking engine should be connected with, at least, Google Hotel Finder and TripAdvisor

       
  7. Nikolaos

    And what if big hotel chains make their own OTA? Collaborate between themselves in order to reduse the power of traditional OTA?

    This concept already exists with Room Key (http://www.roomkey.com/ ).

    So what id this concept goes to the next level? A private fund of a country’s hotels in order to build and promote an OTA that will include all the country’s hotels..?

     
  8. Chris Thurston

    Interesting piece. To anyone who thinks this isn’t possible or is too extreme then I’d invite them to imagine trying to explain the world we live in now to someone living 20 years ago. The internet would be tough enough to explain let alone smart phones and all the implications and developments that have flowed from those two alone.

    Two additional comments from me:

    “The translation of your page will also in all likelihood cost money, putting more than ten photos on your page will also be an optional extra cost etc.”

    – Yes there would be gouging in this scenario but I think it’s debatable how much an OTA would jeopardize content. More images and translations make a huge difference to UX, CRO and SEO which lies at the core of an OTA’s business.

    There’s also unanticipated changes that can occur that change the landscape. Video is one that could be a gamechanger. I’d hesitate to assume that these changes will occur against a static backdrop of technology; it won’t. Yes, all this is possible and it’s a worthwhile vision to express but the context is changing as quickly and that has unforeseen implications for hotels.

     
  9. David Skinner

    I enjoyed your insightful article and the weight you’ve put on commodities versus branding. I remember in the 1990’s when mom and pop real estate businesses opted to become associated with big branded companies like Century 21 and Coldwell Banker for examples – all to get ahead. It was not long that their company’s names were forgotten and their family brands were forgotten. Ironically, once all the real estate companies joined in the fray, the commodity loop was closed and everyone was once again — the same.

    It wouldn’t be such a great jump to see hotel brands reduced now to travel points, to be further reduced to OTAs close the circle as “one size fits all”.
    Congratulations on the article.

     
  10. Hugo Palomar

    Great Thomas …in the coming years we will see a great evolution in the field of OTAs and hotel chains.
    Possibly google revolution will play a very important role, as well as new based reserve systems customer satisfaction and payment for use.

     
  11. Valyn Perini

    This post is interesting, and while some of the author’s points are out there (and probably illegal in some jurisdictions under current regulations), some are worth talking about.

    I would point out that rate parity preceded the advent of the OTAs; it was a hotel-initiated concept that the OTAs initially reluctantly embraced but then decided that it really was a gift in disguise. In hindsight, hoteliers probably wish they’d taken a different course.

    I completely agree with the idea of the OTAs becoming brands that directly compete with hotel brands (in many markets that’s already a reality). The usual hotel franchise agreement primarily includes marketing, distribution and quality assurance standard services. OTAs can and do provide those first two items already, and have proven their value to hotels via their very broad retailing reach. It’s fairly easy to prove ROI on a distribution channel compared to proving the value over time of a brand sign on a hotel’s front lawn.

    But why would an OTA want to take on the costs and overhead of traditional QA, not to mention the extension of QA the author envisions, including technology and HR? Talk about killing margins.

    I would suggest the OTAs would allow their users to effectively become the QA department – when user reviews/ratings drop below a certain point, the property is kicked out of OTA availability. Easy and cheap! I’m not saying it’s the right way to do QA, but keeping in the spirit of the post, it’s easily envisioned.

    What’s going on here is a normal business cycle mechanism – hotel brands aren’t retailers but OTAs are, so in this day of retailing dominance, OTAs are rising. At some point though, some disruption will be introduced to the market that will affect the OTAs. It could be Google or Facebook or Amazon, or it could be the growing sophistication of new entrants and start-ups in the travel space (or even of hotel brands!). There is no end game here, just the ongoing evolution of a truly dynamic industry.

     
    • Colin Brownlee

      I agree. I see disruption coming soon. OTA’s are getting too greedy and someone is going to build a better mousetrap. I would love to see Google take a whack at TripAdvisor.

      I have been lucky. My boutique hotel is highly rated on TA and I had a 20 year background in advertising and marketing before I built my place. We operate at 90+% all year around. I have never used the OTA’s as I am too afraid at getting sucked in.

      I just keep a heavy aggressive ad campaign and make sure that our customers are NOT satisfied, BUT delighted.

      I have another advantage is that I am in a small town in Costa Rica Caribbean and the other players do not have the experience that I have and think they are just renting rooms. We sell experiences.

       
      • Thomas Yung - Artiref

        > someone is going to build a better mousetrap

        Sure, just wait for the killer application and distribution will change again. See how smartphones are changing the way we consume …. I am waiting to see how Google Glasses are going to change again the environment. I am quite sure OTAs already have a Google Glass and are working on dedicated app to sell more… remember we are in a CoSoLoMo world (COntent, SOcial, LOcal, Mobile), Google Glass is a CoSoLoMo product….

         
      • Anil Varghese

        @Colin You hit it right – hotels need to focus on direct bookings to keep themselves from being sucked up by OTAs. You are so right about delighting your guests. This is our learning too as a startup after working with 24 independent hotels on growing direct bookings. A delighted guest becomes your word-of-mouth and online marketing extension with a great reviews on TripAdvisor and others.

        OTAs do play a big role in improving a hotel’s visibility – but the bookings are mostly limited to the hotels who are ready to give up their control on pricing and inventory with scant regard to the bottomline. Others would be pushed down to the end of the OTA city listing. They are the “fill-the-rooms-forget-the-profit” brigade – hope such hotels wake up before it’s too late!

         
  12. Rosario Santos

    I agree Thomas and I can see your point.
    The comparison with food industry / distribution makes sense.
    It’s not the first hotel that I find being an OTA dependent.
    Some ask: “If they do the job why change?” And then we go through numbers and results…
    The ones that lose control hardly recover.
    We just need to think outside the box and realize how similar it might turn into.

     
    • Thomas Yung - Artiref

      > “We just need to think outside the box”

      the positive point is that we (hotelier) have the guest at the front desk twice during the stay (checking & checkout). OTAs never get any guest in a face to face relation. One solution is to educate the guest on how better it is (for him) to book in direct: better service, more offers, more relationship. In France, we have this fairbooking.com program. It is fair to book directly ! let’s think outside the box and educate the guest (but we need to educate the hotelier first)

       
      • Rosario Santos

        Thanks Thomas for your comment!

        When I mentioned “We just need to think outside the box” I was referring to how we hoteliers many times forget that there are many similarities between our type of business and other businesses, such as food retail for example. Obviously there are as well many differences, but I believe that sometimes we tend to think our world is so specific that we don’t look around and learn easily from other’s deals.

        I also agree that we all are responsible for educating both sides, customers and hoteliers, yes.

        In my opinion OTAs can be good partners, as long as hotels keep the control and maintain an open relationship. It has to be good for both sides. The thing is it’s difficult to keep in control when hotels are looking for fast results (in terms of volume mainly). It can be such a wrong decision. Like in many other businesses.

        Bottom line: I think that every property should have its own strategy in place and make all the efforts to survive without depending on others. Tough, I know.

        PS – What about when I call a hotel directly, after checking rates online and they tell me to book through an OTA, because it’s cheaper? Sad. More and more people is having the same experience. There is money on the table…

        Cheers!

         
  13. Christian Ljungström

    I dont agree. In my mind it will go the opposit way. European Union and US courts are aware of the problem. Some hotels left Expedia, and meta engines growing instead. There is a reason why Trivago was bought by Expedia. Meta engines are the future. OTAs will in my mind be history. In Scandinavia the large flight OTAs get 90% of bookings through meta.

    Why? The OTAs has lower markup on meta than on organic or Adwords traffic. So the vast majority of traffic is driven to meta engines (like momondo, Skyscanner, Finn.no, Flygresor.se). And on meta customers dont care of brand, they go for price. The correlation is 60% between cheapest OTA price on meta and the customer buy.

     
  14. Edoardo Quaglia

    A bit farfetched but very sharp.

     
    • Thomas Yung - Artiref

      Of course it is a bit Farfetched (even a lot), but if you observe the relationship evolution for the 5 past years, it is not going the smooth way…. unfortunately

       
  15. Matt Zito

    Thomas enjoyed your economic theory piece. I agree that its possible that a travel marketer like an OTA could possibly take over the direct bookings and marketing for the hotel. I know of a hotel in NYC who’s inventory is now mainly controlled by a wholesaler. I don’t see this really happening though considering the movement to direct bookings in the travel industry. Expedia already is in some hotels with a branded Expedia desk in Orlando selling tours and activities.

     
  16. Patrick Landman

    Patrick @ Xotels

    Great Article Thomas … totally agree, it seems the OTA are becoming more and more like the Franchise Chains …

     
 
 

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