With the travel economy recovering, we’re seeing the industry increasingly consider mergers for forward strategic reasons (as opposed to, say, smaller or mid-sized companies combining or aligning just to stay afloat as in a recession). According to Lincoln Merrihew, VP, Transportation at the research firm Millward Brown Digital, an emerging smaller opportunity will be better integration of supplier loyalty programmes into OTAs, and broader is fewer different technologies or more commoditisation. For example, booking.com powers other entities in Europe. Merrihew sees a few more big deals still to come, and thinks some of those will be surprises as online entities think more out of the box about new revenue streams. Like seeing a hotel buy an OTA? The Expedia-Travelocity agreement in particular may also set the stage for a greater focus on branding and brand-building for online travel as opposed to strictly fulfillment. Get the full story at EyeForTravel Read also "More on how the Expedia/Travelocity deal could shift online sales away from hotels"