Should you hop aboard the hotel book directly wagon? Probably, yes - but advice from multiple experts is that, especially when dealing with small chains and independents, call the hotel and try for the best rate through that channel. Assume the hotel is paying a 25% OTA commission. That mean it has plenty of margin to work with. Our advice: demand that any resort fee be waived (that’s $25 to $50 daily), insist on free WiFi and, if you want to push, ask for coupons for free breakfast daily. You will be surprised how many hotels will cave, because they really, really want direct bookings. Understand this, you won’t score that richly everywhere. Exactly where you are booking will help determine what kind of perks you can squeeze out of a hotel. William Frye, associate professor at Niagara University's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, told of an experiment he ran. First the background: “In essence a 10% commission on a $129 per night rate for a hotel in a second-tier market such as Buffalo would cost the hotel $13 per night while that similar commission paid by a New York City hotel to an OTA for a $400 per night hotel room would cost the hotel $40. Obviously, there is increased motivation for hotels in typically larger, top-tier markets to implement a discount,” said Frye. Get the full story at