The participants of a round-table discussion last month, organised by NatWest and BigHospitality, spoke about the ‘necessary evil’ of online bookings websites, such as Booking.com, Expedia and Laterooms.com, which have grown their presence considerably over the last 10 years. While the majority of those hoteliers attending recognised that external websites have marketing benefits and are a key way to fill rooms, many feel that they are being forced to pay high commission rates to OTAs and not benefiting from the loyalty they’d receive from guests booking direct. As a result hoteliers, particularly those working for the major hotel brands, are starting to fight back in a number of ways to shift the balance of power. Get the full story at BigHospitality Read also "Survey reveals long-term impact of discounting on hotel brands" at BigHospitality