1. Hotel and digital players must find a balance in their co-dependent relationship Hoteliers look at OTAs like the world looks at Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, said Maria Taylor (Regional VP of Southeast Asia, TravelClick) – a mixture of awe, fear and bewilderment – as digital players continue to disrupt hotels’ ability to drive direct bookings. Hotel Distribution and Marketing | WIT Hospitality Hong Kong | Web In Travel Yeoh Siew Hoon, Founder & Managing Director, WIT For example, Colman Ho (VP of Group Marketing, Century City Holdings) argues OTAs’ liberal cancellation policies mean customers often keep shopping for better deals after making a booking, which can create uncertainty for hotel companies. Nevertheless, OTAs and meta-searches are able to unveil new research trends, extend customer reach and ultimately bring in business for hotels. The conflict lies in the power balance, says Jean-Luc Chretien (Co-CEO of FASTBOOKING), as “hoteliers and OTAs need each other”. Steps can be taken to make the relationship more mutually beneficial, e.g. through sharing of data analytics and insights to drive future strategy. Hoteliers would benefit greatly by integrating digital companies into their own infrastructure, like Accor’s acquisition of FASTBOOKING. Adam Brownstein, General Manager of BookingSuite, APAC, whose company has signed up 8,000 hotel partners in the region, said, “Our responsibility [in tech] is to show hotels what they can do to embrace the changes… to help [hotels] win in the [digital] marketplace”. Get the full story at Web in Travel