1. A Stable and Strong Economy: Studies show that we’re sitting on the edge of the best economic years that the country has seen in a decade. This means travelers feel better where they stand economically and are looking at their future with optimism. About eight years of economic doldrums have left the hotel industry with pent-up demand as travelers regain confidence in their spending and are booking travel at record rates. This means ADR is up. Occupancy is up. And, our gratitude is through the roof. 2. More and More Consumers Are Preferring to Book Direct: What hoteliers lacked in pricing power because of rate-parity clauses, they regained by luring in direct bookings with coveted perks and privileges not given to OTA customers. Think complimentary Wi-Fi, better rooms, digital check-in, late check-out and even the ability to pick your room. And, the perks are paying off as more and more travelers catch on that booking direct means a better travel experience, period. A recent survey of nearly 3,000 leisure travelers discovered that there was a noticeable drop in how often the respondents booked with OTAs compared to 2014. They also found that consumers are still frequenting popular third-party sites, but mostly for researching their options and to compare prices. 3. An End to Rate Parity Is in Sight: This past summer, hoteliers and lawmakers in France made history by striking down rate parity. With this newfound freedom, French hoteliers can now differentiate their hotel product, charge whatever they’d like for direct bookings, and essentially, take back the power to market their properties, drive direct business and turn a profit without the burden of OTA contractual language holding them back. It’s only time before the end to rate parity makes its way across the Atlantic, and that’s reason enough to break out the champagne and cigars. Get the full story at Tambourine