Hotels have long lamented their dependence on online travel agencies (OTAs) and their ascribed high cost of distribution (commission or mark-up). Over the years, Hilton, IHG and Hyatt are among the brands that have tried to cut the cord (generating dramatic headlines), only to rejoin the OTAs with fresh, new agreements. While it's easy to say that hotels are fighting a losing battle since OTAs now make up more than one fifth of U.S. hotels' overall revenue the fact is that chains are making some inroads. Perhaps hotel loyalty rates whereby loyalty members get unique discounts for booking direct are paying off after all.
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