Hoteliers have to reboot their mindset and “think beyond real estate”, said Colman Ho, VP Group Marketing of Century City Holdings, in the opening session at WIT Hospitality held in Hong Kong this week. Jean Luc Chretien, co-CEO of FASTBOOKING, said that OTA consolidation and the blurring of lines between online distributors and metasearch players were also making it more difficult for hoteliers, and that they needed to think harder about how to increase direct business and take bold steps. He said OTAs and meta players were making investments in IT technology, which would further widen the gap between hoteliers and the end customers. Accor Hotels, which Chretien was with before he was named to head FASTBOOKING, responded to this trend by acquiring FASTBOOKING, and the French-based hotel company has also acquired 49% stake in Squarebreak and 30% in Oasis Collections to widen its range of accommodation options. “Capacity to control and manage rates and inventory” as well as “capacity to raise expertise level and investment in ecommerce to keep direct business share” were also mentioned by Chretien as challenges facing hoteliers in the current fragmented distribution landscape. Get the full story at WIT