The bidding war for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. made global headlines as Marriott International Inc. fended off China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co. to become the world’s biggest hotel operator. Now Marriott has to figure out how to use its new edge in another long-simmering battle.
Source: Marriott Won the Starwood Battle, Now It’s on to the Expedia War – BloombergIt is telling that Expedia says “Most people are brand-agnostic and want to see the full assortment of choices that online agents can offer, he says. We’re not seeing these direct booking efforts by hotels as changing consumer behavior much.”
It proves the point that OTAs see rooms as commodities and dont care about the brand. That is insulting and annoying. Hotels are brands and they need to take controll of their own marketing. leaving it to OTAs is a disaster happening right before our eyes. Not only do they loose commission, which in my mind is the least of the worries”, they loose brand integrity, customer contact and a host of far more important marketing advantages that come with direct bookings. In the new round of Marriott Expedia War for Brand Integrity whats at stake is far more important to hospitality marketing that commissions. Its about branding and not become just a commodity in the OTA channels.
But all this is about to change anyway because personalization is coming to tourism in a big way. It will put brands in high profile and be a boon to travellers and hoteliers- see http://www.slideshare.net/irclay/personaholidays