This is an interesting article which at first glance appears to state the obvious; Better quality hotels sell rooms easier. In summary the article says that a hotel played with the various factors that influence a hotels position on an OTA's listing (such as Booking.com or Expedia) ie giving more or less commission, but it did not seem to make any difference to their booking volumes. The conclusion the property came to was that customers are searching first by location and then 'review score' a position that isnt altered by any OTA's ranking algorithm. (not a bad conclusion, although we would also suspect that price is a key ranking factor that customers use to search).
But in fairness it is something we have also noticed ourselves. When we dig deeper in to our high performing hotels We notice that they are the ones with a high Tripadvisor or Booking.com ranking. Nothing new there, but when we participate in Marketing Meetings with hotels the discussion mostly turns on 'Shall we give the OTA's more commission', 'Should we spend more on Adwords'. 'Can we reduce our rates next weekend' etc.
Just maybe a better question is 'should we spend more on staff training', 'do we need to redecorate the rooms' etc.
As a further twist on this story, we also note that better value hotels generate more income through their own website. The reason for this is a little more obscure, it could be as simple as the fact that better managed hotel are more likely to have good website marketing in place, or it could be that there are customers who search for a hotel on Tripadvisor, by ranking, and book direct with that property. We are open to alternative arguements on this point.