OTAs account for 39% of bookings in the UK, 41% in the US and 25% in the Middle East. But Professor O’Connor defended this disruption of the market and criticised a recent report by hospitality sales and marketing group HSMAI which said the only way to improve revenue was to cut out third parties. “The problem with the hotel industry is that we are great at playing the blame game,” he told delegates at the Duetto event at Amba Hotel in Charring Cross, London. “When something goes wrong it’s always somebody else’s fault.” He suggested hotels need to shift away from the traditional race to appear on Google results themselves, as the cost per click is getting more expensive, less than a third of customers search for hotels by brand and “nobody” goes as far as page two of search results. Get the full story at The Caterer