The move to ban rate parity has prompted renewed debate on the subject. We don’t live in a homogenized society, and certainly our industry is fragmented. There are many different perspectives as to whether rate parity is good or necessary. Some in the industry feel that a rate-parity clause handcuffs them and they cannot effectively compete against the OTAs. They argue that customers are not alike. For example, they would like to offer better rates for someone wanting a longer length of stay or for someone who books far in advance. They also argue that technology advances and big data have made it far easier to customize and deliver offers that are relevant. The rate-parity clause takes away their autonomy to be relevant in their pricing and their marketing. Some also have argued that rate parity is totally in favor of the OTAs because it is all about rates. It is to the OTAs’ advantage that our industry becomes commoditized. OTAs have a tremendous advantage in allowing consumers to shop and compare rates. They argue that rate parity removes the differentiation that each hotel or brand can create and the special value they can give to their customers. Without rate parity, we can distinguish ourselves with a wider range of rate plans and product offerings (e.g. value-added experience). Get the full story at Hotel News Now