World Panel
Viewpoint20 July 2020

Is there future for a hotel-owned OTA?

Digital Marketing in Hospitality

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Is there future for a hotel-owned OTA?
This viewpoint was created by
Max Starkov, Adjunct Professor NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality and Hospitality & Online Travel Tech Consultant
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Max Starkov
Adjunct Professor NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality and Hospitality & Online Travel Tech Consultant

Building a hotelier-owned OTA is such a hotelier's pipe dream! Expedia spent billions of dollars building its current CRS platform now being used across its portfolio(Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and Wotif). In addition, Expedia spends $6 billion on marketing EVERY YEAR. All of hotels combined spend less on marketing globally.

In place of a hotel-owned OTA, smart hoteliers should consider a joint venture to build an “Open API marketplace” to provide seamless and low cost connectivity between PMS, CRS, RMS, CRM, Channel Managers, CMS, DMS, and myriad guest-facing and back-office AI, automation, robotic and IoT applications, devices and solutions. Within five years, a 4- or 5-star hotel would need 200 plus APIs to its PMS in order to accommodate all of the next gen (AI, IoT, robotics, automation, blockchain, etc.) technology devices and applications it would need to survive.

The OTAs are constantly evolving and will continue to do so. Their role as a marketplace i.e. a conduit between suppliers/owners of inventory on one side and travel consumers on the other end - will continue as such. A marketplace provides choice and efficiency. Amazon is a marketplace. Booking is a marketplace. Consumers have been in need of marketplaces for millennia. What form and shape of a marketplace the OTAs will evolve to let's say 10-15-20 years from now? It's anybody's guess. But a hotel-owned OTA? Dream on...

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