Peter Lee says, hotels don’t have to make a decision between growing their direct channel and working with other channels. They need to evaluate the costs and benefits associated with every channel they have the opportunity to distribute through. The direct channel comes with higher costs in marketing and customer acquisition, while other channels, such as the OTAs, can help lower. A recent study from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research found that nearly 74 percent of consumers looking for a hotel will visit an OTA prior to making their booking decision, versus just 10 percent of consumers that go directly to a supplier’s website. This builds on an earlier study that found that hotels displayed on Expedia received between 7 percent to 26 percent more bookings than when they were not displayed. So if growing the direct channel is truly a hotel’s main objective, working with an OTA can actually help in that endeavour, providing free exposure, global reach and marketing support. Get the full story at EyeForTravel