1. Direct booking strategies create questions for owners In Hotels Magazine, Chad Crandell, managing director and CEO of asset management firm CHMWarnick, takes a deep dive into the brand-led efforts to encourage more direct booking by consumers—in exchange for lower rates. While he commends the brand companies for their efforts, he wonders whether these initiatives will actually yield “incremental business at a lower overall net cost to ownership.” As he points out, boosting loyalty club membership—and then offering lower rates to these members—potentially comes with a cost, typically borne by hotel owners. For example, does offering lower rates to loyalty members create new business or just represent discounts to customers who are already loyal and probably book direct anyway? Duetto’s Take: At Duetto, we think direct booking strategies based on hotel loyalty programs won’t work effectively unless they are married to the comprehensive, data-driven philosophy of Open Pricing. When rates are set not individually and not in relation to BAR, prices can be flexed whenever demand conditions change, they also can be flexed according to the spending habits of the guest booking with the hotel. Get the full story at Duetto