President of US hotel corporation wants minimum distribution through OTAs
The president and CEO of Choice Hotels, which owns several brands as franchises including Clarion Hotels and is based in the US, is doing more and more business through its own central reservation system – revenue generated by the CRS grew 18% in Q1 2011 – and comparatively less through online travel agencies. Still reluctantly seeing OTAs as a necessity, Stephen P Joyce attributes the above growth to a rewards program and improvements in usability at its mobile website.
Joyce describes the relationship between hotels and OTAs as “a rapidly changing and potentially disruptive environment.” He’s partly speaking from experience. Eighteen months ago, his company endured a costly contract dispute with Expedia. That was patched up, but now “the franchisees are going to optimise their revenues by leveraging what we provide them, which is the channels that we have at our disposal.” In other words, OTAs are necessary partners but Choice Hotels aims to keep distribution through them at a minimum.
[pictured: Clarion Hotel Post, Göteborg]