here will be a reckoning in 2017. Hotel chains will get a better understanding of whether the loyalty program rates that they are exclusively offering on their websites are coming at too steep a cost in terms of their impact on bottom lines. And the online travel agencies will decide if they’ll have to up their game of hardball and live with protracted direct campaigns from the chains. Already there are signs of, well, accommodation and an evolution of the online travel agency/hotel chain relationship. Red Lion Hotels, a relatively smaller chain, decided to team up with Expedia, allowing the online booking site to auto-enroll customers into Red Lion’s loyalty program when they book a Red Lion property on Expedia. In addition, Marriott, which has been relatively aggressive in its book-direct campaign, partnered with Expedia, having it power vacation packages on the Vacations by Marriott site. The point is, online travel agencies and hotels may be eternal frenemies, but at this juncture they need each other too. The question is whether hotels will be able to tip the balance of power in their direction, and for the time being, at least, it appears as though they are succeeding. Get the full story at Skift