Neither the brands sites nor the booking sites (OTAs) are going away as distribution channels, and 2013 will be a year of changing dynamics of this balancing game.
With a better economy, the growing appeal of the hotel brands’ own websites, and pressures on OTAs emerging from competition to them, it may be time for hoteliers to redirect the relationship in their favor.
In the tough times of years past, when hotels were desperate to fill rooms, they handed over a large amount of inventory to OTAs, who were there to help. Now, as hotels regain market share in the online distribution channel, they are ready to negotiate and forge long-term partnerships with OTAs that are more balanced and mutually beneficial. The many changes taking place in the online booking channel present plenty of opportunities for hotels and OTAs to redefine the way they work together. After all, what benefits one side has solid benefits for the other.