Brands, OTAs mending relationship
Although large-scale hotel brands have denounced online travel agencies in recent years, instead focusing their efforts on driving travelers directly to their own websites, there seems to be a shift in attitude of late.
Hotel brand executives are beginning to embrace OTAs again, even calling them partners, as companies such as Expedia and Priceline work through complex negotiations with many of the major brands.
OTAs are “a definite part of the value chain,” said Pat Pacious, executive VP of global strategy, distribution and technology for Choice Hotels International. “When your hotel is looking to discount, they’re a viable channel.”
Accor Hotels recently signed a long-term global agreement with Expedia; Jean-Luc Chrétien, Accor’s executive VP of sales, distribution and loyalty programs, called the relationship “fruitful.”