The agreement – which was signed off in early September – allows hotels to offer lower rates than they provide OTAs for phone and over-the-counter bookings, but they have to extend ‘rate parity’ to OTAs for online bookings, unless it is to a ’closed’ user group, such as a hotel’s loyalty club. The reality, of course, is that the overwhelming majority of bookings these days are online, and the millennial generation, in particular, prefer the idea of booking through aggregated sites rather than individual hotel sites. While France legislated to outlaw rate parity, and Germany is looking to follow suit, the American hotel giants decided that the only way to stop the erosion of distribution market share was to challenge the OTAs head on. Get the full story at ehotelier