PhocusWright claims that the OTA accommodations bookings in the U.S. overtook the gross booking through hotels for the first time in 2016. Not only do Priceline and Expedia own 95% of the U.S. online travel market, in more fragmented markets like Europe and Asia, OTAs are growing even further, thus demonstrating the sheer bargaining power that both these leading OTAs command. So, given this scenario, it might not be possible to stop the growth of the OTAs. However, awareness campaigns such as the one raised by the AHLA might help consumer make better decisions rather than be blinded by the allegedly deceptive marketing campaigns of the OTAs. This in turn might also help hotels to get a significant rise in their direct bookings. Since it is coming from a regulatory body and not from a seller, consumers are prone to put more credibility in the campaign, and in case this is a success, such campaigns can be undertaken by regulatory bodies in other countries as well. Get the full story at Nasdaq