A recent Morningstar study, “Hotel Direct Booking Campaigns Won’t Hurt Priceline and Expedia Says Study,” asserts that the impact of major chains’ direct-booking campaigns on online travel agencies will be negligible. Did Morningstar Get It Right? - The study assumes an average brand.com member discount of 10%. From the brands’ perspective that is a significantly high estimate, and that makes me skeptical of the rest of the study. If their numbers are off, then their conclusions are skewed. - We’ve seen different analyses of the profitability to the hotel in light of the discount. - Today’s direct-booking campaigns aren’t a short-term play, but a long-term one. If all you’re doing is discounting, the shine of that will wear off quickly. The value-add that augments this strategy, and is not factored into the study, is all the value hotels provide those guests after the booking (from mobile services to wifi to more). Get the full story at HSMAI