“It’s driving up the cost of hotel advertising, writ large,” said Maryam Cope, the AH&LA’s vice president of government affairs. “And it’s not fair to the consumer.” Regardless, the program signals that OTAs are dealing from an increasing position of strength when it comes to influence over bookings of hotel rooms. While annual U.S. bookings via hotels’ own websites are predicted to jump 39% between 2013 and 2017, to $30.2 billion, annual bookings through OTAs will grow at an even faster clip. In a January report, Phocuswright forecasted the OTAs’ hotel bookings will have surged 52% between 2013 and 2017, to $31.3 billion. With Expedia’s acquisition of both Orbitz Worldwide and Travelocity last year, the company is expected to account for about 70% of all U.S. travel bookings through OTAs this year. Get the full story at Travel Weekly Read also "How the Expedia Accelerator Program works"