The move to tie preferential rates to direct bookings is not so different from the move hoteliers like Marriott and Starwood made in 2014 to tie free Wi-Fi to loyalty and direct booking on brand websites. In that instance, the hoteliers faced criticism from groups like the United Kingdom and Ireland's Institute of Travel & Meetings for being "anti-business travel." Other companies like Hilton and Hyatt also dropped Internet charges for loyalty members, but they didn't tie the arrangement to any one booking channel. If the industry shift toward loyalty rates is intended to challenge the OTAs, the question is whether managed travel programs and corporates booking through global distribution systems could once more get caught in the crossfire. "A lot of the TMCs wish that the communication would be a little bit clearer around lack of impact on travel management companies," said Eric Jongeling, Carlson Wagonlit Travel director of Americas hotel solutions. "It creates a lot of behind-the-scenes saying, 'How does this actually impact us as a managed travel program?'" Get the full story at Business Travel News