Huston continues: “Look, if you’re a hotel, you always want to have all your guests come direct. But there is a large segment of guests who will stay at your hotel and never, ever stay there again. They’re just transient leisure guests and they come from all over the world. The best way to get at them is through a platform like Booking.com. “If I was running a hotel, I’d want as much demand as I could see, and then optimise it. Because even direct bookings aren’t free. You’ve got customer service. You’ve got maybe a points or a mileage programme. You’ve got all sorts of things you do on that side, too.” Discussing the group’s new vertical, Booking for Business, Huston describes a platform tailored specifically for those making group booking for their company, and also suited to frequent business travellers. The venture started when Booking.com began reviewing how to enhance the experience for different categories of travellers. Get the full story at Hotelier MiddleEast