Rate parity is becoming increasingly important for hotels in light of the Billboard Effect, which is the tendency of travellers to browse for hotels on OTA sites and then go directly to the supplier’s site to book. Parity ensures that a customer will see the same price for a given room no matter which booking channel they use, and is one important way that any hotel or OTA can increase consumer confidence. A company of Expedia’s stature says hotels are responsible for setting their own prices, and at the end of the day it is the consumer that ultimately decides whether the price is acceptable or not. For their part, OTAs immediately refer to the fact that the direct channel comes with higher costs in marketing and customer acquisition. OTAs create trial for brands by reaching brand agnostic consumers who are shopping for a vacation. Online channels enable hotels to reach potential customers they would not otherwise be able to reach, and to quickly make adjustments to rate in accordance with their needs. So it is clear that strategies for both direct and indirect channels should be aligned to maximise value. Hotels needs to ensure that there are no disparate systems running disparate channel content and pricing. “I believe that there needs to be price parity and rate integrity on retail pricing in both direct and indirect channels,” said Kurien Jacob, SVP Revenue and Distribution, Highgate Hotels. Jacob added, “However, do we truly see price parity in existence in today’s world?” Get the full story at EyeForTravel