Through an ongoing dialogue with other independents, hoteliers can resist “being bullied into accepting these contracts … and collectively can bargain,” he said. “Expedia is not going to turn off an entire market.” On a distribution playing field which pits independent hotels against brands and includes sometimes-tense negotiation with online travel agencies, there can be strength in numbers, speakers said on a panel at the Direct Booking Summit this October. “As independents, it’s important that we talk to one another and have a relationship,” said Gary Hawkins, VP of revenue strategy at Sydell Group, which creates and manages independent and boutique hotels. He called it “a wolf-pack mentality,” because “if we’re out on our own and we get separated from the pack, we’re going to get picked off.” Get the full story at HNN