Hard costs related to property insurance, employee compensation, health care, energy and brand-associated fees have all risen (in some cases dramatically), plus there is a downward rigidity associated with these costs. Since most of the RevPAR gains in recent years have come from the occupancy side of the equation, variable costs have increased disproportionately. Perhaps one of the most difficult costs to quantify, and therefore the most alarming, is the cost of intermediation. Cindy Estis Green, CEO of Kalibri Labs, highlights this point by comparing the hospitality industry to adjacent industries in the travel space, "cost of customer acquisition for hotels is around 15-25% whereas airlines are in the 3-6% range and car rentals hover around 4-6%." She went on to say, "Several years ago, airlines were facing customer acquisition costs that approached 15% and they had near-death experience as a result." Cost of Sale is a valuable metric, but this is not readily detected on today's P&L statements—it has to be fabricated independently and there currently aren't any industry guidelines to govern how this is to be accomplished. Complicating matters is the myriad of business models adopted by intermediaries which incorporate margins, mark-ups, commissions, listing fees, advertising trade, cost per action and cost per click (or some combination of the above) as their form of remuneration. Get the full story at Hospitalitynet