September 10, 2018

How the hotel-OTA relationship has matured


Panelists on the “Two decades of love and hate: OTAs” session at the recent Hotel Data Conference shared their experiences and observations of the evolving relationship between hoteliers and OTAs.

Early on the relationship, hoteliers thought it was like pushing the easy button and new business would come out of the air, said Susan Guimbellot, VP of revenue and channel strategy at Hospitality Ventures Management Group. However, record occupancy levels and rising costs started challenging the bottom line, she said, and they realized it wasn’t just this magic additional incremental business.

Hotel companies and OTAs had a honeymoon period, said Klaus Kohlmayr, chief evangelist at IDeaS Revenue Solutions, but they’ve settled in and now have a more mature relationship. Some hotels do need different forms of distribution that they don’t have access to, and OTAs provide that access.

Hoteliers want to have their product on the shelf when a customer goes to convert, he said, and the reality is OTAs convert better than many of the other channels or distribution opportunities for hotels.

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