If Hotels have a level playing field will they play?
Many hotels bemoan the fact that the OTA's are taking all their business, and they feel unable to compete on equal terms. Wherever hotel customers go on the World Wide Web, the OTA's are in their face, be it Google (via Adwords), TripAdvisor (OTA rates are displayed on your Business Listing), Trivago and Hotels Combined (platforms that compare rates from OTA's), and the new kid lurking on the block....Google HotelFinder (Displays rates from the OTA's). Wherever customers might be innocently wending their way through the internet, the OTA's seem to pop-up.
But this does appear to be changing, hotels are free to use Google Adwords and now have the opportunity to display their rates on TripAdvisor (via TripConnect), Trivago and even Google HotelFinder are opening up their system to allow rates direct from hotels own booking engines to be displayed.
But will they take this opportunity? The problem with all these platforms is that they cost money (usually on some form of cost per click basis), and the question remains if this level playing field is created, will the hotels seize the opportunity, invest and compete with the OTA's?