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OTAs – Friend or Foe?

17 February 2014


World Travel Market

We recently conducted a survey of 288 hostels, hotels and guest houses to investigate the impact of OTAs on the hotel and travel industry. We were on the hunt for numbers to put behind the growing concerns that OTAs are causing real damage to the independent hotelier and restauranteur. We needed these numbers to help us reverse these changes by empowering the independent hotel and restaurant to drive their revenue away from OTAs and discount sites like Groupon.


The results are all in, and they sadly confirmed our growing concerns. The most notable figure to us was the  87% of respondents saying that ‘OTAs made it harder to compete’. The airline industry started to combat the injustice of commission levels in 1995 by putting a cap on the commission that agents could charge. This balancing out of power has sadly not been shown in the hotel and restaurant sector, which is worryingly clear in the 87% of you saying that ‘OTA commission should be capped’.


According to the survey, the lesser of the evils appeared to be, with 21% saying that they had the lowest commission and also were the easiest to use. Expedia emerged at the bottom of the pile with 21% saying that they had the highest commission while being the hardest to use. and Expedia have been the rabbit in OFT headlights for a while now, but we still believe that far more could be done to limit their dominance and strip independence from hotels and restaurants. It just so happens that you share the same opinion as us.




A first step to claw back some independence is to ensure you have an engaging and cohesive online presence so that you give customers the best possible chance to book through your own sight and not through an OTA. Our hospitality-specific Two Week WebsiteTM might be a good place to start with a responsive dynamic design that will not only showcase you in the best possible way, but will also allow you to become part of the 40% of all bookings being made through mobile devices.

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