Expedia has outpaced the chains’ direct channels growth by demonstrating consumer value and, as a result, increased the OTA share of the mix of chain hotels’ bookings. This means that owners are now feeling the pinch of the large franchise fees that chains charge on bookings made via OTA channels even more. Instead of moving to reduce the amount they charge their owners, the approach taken by some of those chains is to try to reduce the growth of the OTA by restricting what consumers shopping and booking through non-brand.com websites can access. This could be their most competitive publicly available rates or blocking non-price benefits such as free Wi-Fi. They are discriminating against these consumers in the guest experience by, for instance, making online check-in available only to their loyalty program members who book on the chain’s own channels. Get the full story at Tnooz