Room prices on sites such as Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline were on average $31, or 22 percent, lower than rates offered on hotel chain Web sites in the first quarter, according to the industry research firm Rubicon, which analyzes data supplied by Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Starwood, Gaylord and Intercontinental Hotels Group. The online travel sites “are the only [distribution] channel that saw a decline in the volume of business they get from hotels,” said Tim Hart, executive vice president and head of business intelligence for Travelclick, Rubicon’s parent company. The decline comes at a time when hotel operators are raising average daily rates. Smith Travel Research said rates crept up an average of 3.1 percent to $99.37 last quarter. Locally, average daily rates trended up 2.7 percent to $145.45. Even at a discount, the price of hotel rooms on travel sites climbed 4 percent in the first three months compared to a year earlier. Get the full story at The Washington Post