In a recent article published by Skift, direct booking is examined in a way that can be mutually beneficial for both hotels and OTAs. The article discusses how shifting hotel bookings to their own brand websites is not only a good thing for large hotel groups, but can also work out for OTAs. This is possible because these bookings would most likely be replaced by smaller chains and independent hotels that would be paying higher commissions than large brands. Although these independents would be paying higher commissions, their presence on the OTAs will give them an advantage due to increased exposure.

The only way for this shift to work out for all parties involved (large chains, OTAs and independents) is to have mutually rational pricing strategies. The problem with this lies in:

• Some hotel chains offering discounted rates for direct booking while not giving OTAs the same best rates

• In turn, OTAs “dimming” these hotel chains (pushing their listings down in search results, removing pictures to make the listing less appealing)

• Smaller, independent hotels trying to maintain competitive rates against large groups and engaging in discounts as a result

As efforts to gain bookings continue, both large hotel groups and OTAs must work together to come up with ways to effectively price rooms and drive growth for all parties involved. This has already begun as some OTAs have partnered with hotel chains to push bookings and benefit both sides.


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