As we’ve noted before, as much as hotels and online travel agencies may not necessarily love one another, they certainly need each other. Their current love-hate relationship will certainly change, however, if and when other players like Airbnb or Google become bigger players in the hotel booking space.
— Deanna Ting
What do hospitality executives think of the current hotel distribution landscape, and the emergence of Google Hotels and Airbnb? And would they ever consider walking away entirely from a particular online travel agency partner ?
Skift discussed these topics with several hospitality executives attending the Americas Lodging Investment Summit last month in Los Angeles, and what they had to say may or may not surprise you.
Generally, these hotel executives seemed to welcome the idea of other players coming into the distribution space and challenging the Priceline Group and Expedia duopoly. Some also expressed concerns about the growing importance and influence of Google and Airbnb.
And while direct booking pushes were a major point of focus for hoteliers in 2016 and 2017 — and to some extent still are, given Wyndham’s news this week — the executives have certainly softened their stances when speaking about their companies’ relationships with third-party booking channels. Today, it feels like the hotels have reached an equilibrium with the online travel agencies, with both sides acknowledging that they need one another to succeed.
Still, that won’t stop others, namely Google and Airbnb, from trying to get their share of the hotel booking market, and smart hoteliers are keeping an eye on those companies’ efforts.
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