Hotel brand executives are beginning to embrace OTAs again, even calling them partners, as companies such as Expedia and Priceline work through complex negotiations with many of the major brands. OTAs are “a definite part of the value chain,” said Pat Pacious, executive VP of global strategy, distribution and technology for Choice Hotels International. “When your hotel is looking to discount, they’re a viable channel.” Accor Hotels recently signed a long-term global agreement with Expedia; Jean-Luc Chrétien, Accor’s executive VP of sales, distribution and loyalty programs, called the relationship “fruitful.” “Accor has not a very strong hotel presence in North America, a very important emitting region for the hospitality industry,” Chrétien said. “Expedia, among other partners, has helped us increase the visibility of our brands and hotels in these markets and consequently driven a lot more American and Canadian guests to our properties in Europe, Latin America and Asia.” Get the full story at