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Special Report of Preliminary Findings From Comprehensive Analysis of
Hotel Distribution Channels by AH&LA and STR Presented at
NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference

Report Will be Published by HSMAI Foundation

NEW YORK, NY (June 6, 2011) – Preliminary findings from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and STR Special Report, titled “Hotel Distribution Channel Analysis”, published by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Foundation, were presented today at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York.
The full report, authored by Mark Lomanno, CEO, STR, and Cindy Estis Green, managing partner, The Estis Group, is scheduled to be released in September. It is the most ambitious examination made to date of the hotel industry's use of distribution channels in order to develop tools and metrics to assist hotels in determining their optimal channel mix.
“Prior to this study, much of what we knew on this topic was simply anecdotal,” said AH&LA President/CEO Joe McInerney.  “A complete analysis of the costs and benefits of the various hotel distribution channels is absolutely essential so that hoteliers understand the value of each entity to their business.”
The study findings illuminate many aspects of distribution analysis including an explanation of the impact of each channel on hotel demand and revenue, with a more granular examination of channel performance by metro area. It explores economic factors such as elasticity of demand by chain scale as well as consumer shopping patterns relative to channel selection.
“Average daily rates realized by individual hotels vary widely depending on the distribution channel,” said Lomanno. “Without a comprehensive understanding of the costs associated with the respective channels, the industry is leaving money on the table. This study, upon completion, will help the industry understand the costs and benefits of the respective primary distribution channels.”
Additional elements of the study and report include:
  • Economic modeling of demand patterns at the national and local level
  • Direct and indirect cost analysis by channel
  • Consumer behavior relative to online shopping and buying
  • The relative costs of various marketing channels including search engines
  • Ancillary spend and retention patterns
  • Advertising and promotional spending within hospitality
  • Examination of the practical application and consistency of use of rate parity
  • Review of current techniques in use at the unit level for pricing, inventory management and transient revenue generation
“Given the crucial strategic role of distribution and its implications for profitability, this is a discipline that is fast becoming the centerpiece of many hotel companies' marketing and revenue management plans,” said Estis Green. “Understanding the dynamic will be essential to successful hotel operations over the next decade.”
Findings from the study, conducted by STR, The Estis Group and Oxford Economics, will also be presented at upcoming industry events, including the AH&LA board meeting, HITEC and HSMAI’s Revenue Optimization Conference.
“The results of this balanced analysis of hotel distribution channels will add significantly to the body of knowledge available to industry sales, marketing, and revenue management professionals, building on reports previously published by the HSMAI Foundation, including Demystifying Distribution and The Evolving Dynamics of Revenue Management,” said HSMAI Foundation Executive Director Fran Brasseux.
About AH&LA
Serving the hospitality industry for a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.
About STR
STR ( provides clients-including hotel operators, developers, financiers, analysts and suppliers to the hotel industry-access to hotel research with regular and custom reports covering North America, Mexico and Caribbean. STR provides a single source of global hotel data covering daily and monthly performance data, forecasts, annual profitability, pipeline and census information. STR founded the STR family of companies and is proudly associated with STR Global, RRC Associates, STR Analytics, and STR also founded the Hotel Data Conference (, which will be held 3-4 August 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Hotel Data Conference-Europe (, which will be held 6 September 2011.
About HSMAI Foundation
Established in 1983 to serve as the research and educational arm of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, the HSMAI Foundation's mission is to expand and enhance the educational opportunities available to hospitality sales and marketing executives and to increase the amount of in-depth research conducted on behalf of the profession. Today, and in the years ahead, the HSMAI Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) organization, plans to accelerate its research and publishing activities to contribute even more to the continuing education of those engaged in this fast-paced, increasingly demanding profession. For more information on the HSMAI Foundation visit

Kathryn Potter

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