The goal, experts say, is to rely less on third-party channels like Google—and with good reason. Google recently outpaced Expedia as the No. 1 source travelers use when booking trips, according to a recent study from travel and hospitality marketing firm MMGY Global, while Facebook is also honing ways to reach potential travelers on its site while they are researching trips. Airbnb is also commanding more of the mix as it expands its offerings to include hotels alongside home shares, and hotels are trying to convince consumers to book with them directly, boxing online agencies out. In the $164 billion U.S. lodging market, booking fees are now nearly split between online travel agencies such as Expedia, with $39 billion, and hotels, with $38 billion, according to Phocuswright, a New York-based travel market research company. Within the online travel market, Expedia (including Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbitz and Hotwire) commands 70 percent; Booking Holdings, including Booking.com and Priceline, holds 23 percent; and all others garner 7 percent, Phocuswright found. "A key theme [for online travel agencies] is a shift to direct customer acquisition to drive app downloads and direct engagement," says Douglas Quinby, senior VP of research at Phocuswright. "We're seeing more brand advertising online, for sure, but also offline as well." Get the full story at AdAge Read also "Google will let you book hotels and flights through search results"