Stop blaming the OTAs for everything: We spent a lot of time in 2015 talking about rising distribution costs, and the OTAs got vilified all over again. Now, I don’t disagree that rising distribution costs should be of concern to hoteliers. Cindy Estes Green and Mark Lomanno have provided strong evidence that we need to shift this trend, or we will be in trouble. However, we also need to keep in mind that we have control over our distribution costs – it’s not something that the OTAs are doing TO us. It is easy to sit back and simply blame the OTAs. The OTAs have proven their value in generating incremental demand from markets that an individual hotel could never reach on their own. It is crucial to manage the relationship with these OTAs carefully, in light of your pricing strategy and the marketing opportunities associated with each partnership. Consider the concessions that Hilton Worldwide recently got in their negotiations with Expedia. Of course, being a large global company helped, but so did having a strategy, and knowing the role that the OTAs would play in that strategy. It wasn’t just about commissions, it was about terms. Instead of blaming, build your business strategy considering the opportunities to use the right distribution partners as an integral component. Make the costs you pay worth the opportunities you achieve. Get the full story at The Analytic Hospitality Executive