It’s almost time for Thanksgiving. As we prepare to commemorate the Pilgrims who in 1621 survived their first, devastating winter in the new world, thoughts turn - perhaps surprisingly – to hotel ecommerce.
Following last week’s PhoCusWright conference the blogosphere and twitterverse have been awash with stories about hotel companies and their relationships with their ecommerce partners. But this year something’s different. Change is in the air, and it portends an interesting 2012. As we wind down to the annual feast of turkey, football and ghastly travel experiences, here are a few thoughts on the changing tide in travel distribution.
A few weeks ago we published a piece about Online Travel Agents (OTAs), and their search marketing habits. As you can see, it prompted some discussion in these pages. In that article we suggested that while search marketing strategies and their impact receive a lot of commentary, they remain under-researched by the hotel industry. We undertook to publish research based on new industry data, which we will do, starting with this post.
A few weeks ago we read an interesting blog post written by Xotels, about Online Travel Agents (OTAs) entitled: “Hotel Brand Hijacking by OTA, it should be banned …” The article - clearly intended to advocate the position of the hotel operator - attacked the OTAs’ habit of purchasing sponsored links on major search engines under the names of hotels.
In this post we ask whether or not the purchasing of hotel name links by intermediaries constitutes “Hijacking” and “Robbery” as the original article suggests, and whether or not it is desirable to “ban” this or any other OTA marketing practice.
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