It’s no secret that there has been a flurry of book direct campaigns launched in recent months. This includes IHG and Accor launching campaigns in Europe in 2015 followed by Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt and IHG in the U.S. in 2016. This trend has raised many questions about how these campaigns will affect hotel performance from an owner and operator standpoint. Additionally, concerns have been raised by third-party OTAs and meta search vendors about how it may affect their own growth targets.
AGGRESSIVE RESPONSES FROM THE OTAS HAVE INCLUDED: letters to hotels claiming the book direct campaigns are not working, de-ranking and “dimming” of hotel listings and removal of participating hotels from preferred listing status. Both the CEO of Expedia and Booking.com have come out in public statements indicating they are not happy about the book direct campaigns and intimating that the large chain brands’ attempts will not succeed. The OTAs retaliatory actions convey a message that they sense a serious threat to their business.
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