A Morningstar research report characterizes the risk to the online travel agencies from major chains’ direct-booking campaigns as “overblown,” and forecasts that they will produce a 1 percentage point headwind for the Priceline Group (compared with Morningstar’s mid-teen percent annual booking growth estimate for Priceline through 2020); a 1.5 percentage point headwind for Expedia (in conjunction with a low-teen percent annual booking growth forecast through 2020), and a 0.5 percentage point headwind for Ctrip (which is forecast to grow bookings at an annual mid-30 percent clip through 2020). Why would the impact to the online travel agencies be so negligible? Morningstar points to “Priceline and Expedia’s network, marketing, and technology scale; the cost that sustained discounting of rooms has on hotel financials and brand (key sources of moats in the lodging industry); the Priceline and Expedia’s ability to participate in direct bookings of hoteliers; and the higher fragmentation of hotels relative to airlines.” Get the full story at Skift