The shift puts the role of the global branded groups under ever-closer scrutiny, as the cost of distribution informed owners’ choices.

Peter O’Connor, professor of information systems, ESSEC Business School, said: “Do hotel companies know what they’re doing? Are they sleek professionals or are they about to drown in a sea of change? Hotels can’t carry on charging 12% of the top line. They need to evolve. They will put less emphasis on brand and more on the distribution."