Hoteliers further say they lose about half of their business if they don’t sign up to such agencies, which sink millions of dollars into marketing to ensure their websites are the top hits in Google searches for accommodation.

They’re further hamstrung by tight contract conditions that prevent them from offering special deals directly to customers.

Industry experts are now urging consumers to cut out the middleman – the websites – and book directly with hotels, saying it’s a better outcome for both parties.

Related: Australia: Expedia takes first step to end rate parity clauses