Brands Battle OTAs for Guest Loyalty

The competition between online travel agencies and hotel chains continues to heat up in an ever-evolving marketplace. Online travel agencies have a symbiotic relationship with hotels (after all, they do draw in more guests), but also take away from the all important brand loyalty that encourages guests to continue laying their heads down under a particular chain’s roof. Despite the ongoing power struggle, hotels are still coming out on top: According to Phocuswright, 34 percent of Americans used online agencies last year, while 66 booked directly. Though it is still too early to tell, hotels’ continued success over online travel agencies could stem from recent efforts to entice guests, with brands like Hilton and Marriott running ads and offering deals aimed at guests who book direct. To find out how online travel agencies are responding to brands’ tactics, click here.