US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

For the rapidly growing world of travel metasearch, 2015 is forecast to be a “year of disruption.” The evolution is well underway, especially in the highly profitable hotel industry, where the lines continue to blur between metasearch and online travel agencies (OTAs).

Many of the major metasearch sites, including Kayak and Hipmunk, now offer facilitated booking through OTA partners, allowing consumers to book hotels directly without ever leaving the site. Conversely, some OTAs such as Orbitz and are beginning to integrate metasearch into their own sites, showing competitor rates underneath their own hotel listings and earning a referral fee for any traffic sent to those sites.

Where does this leave the hotels?

These changes have left hotels wondering whether the value proposition of participating in traditional metasearch is diminishing. As facilitated bookings become more common, hoteliers wonder if they will still be able to drive traffic to their own websites.

The costs are also increasing. It has become increasingly difficult for many hotels to outbid OTAs for metasearch placement. facebook down Even hotels that can afford CPC costs sometimes find themselves competing against OTAs that play unfairly and break rate parity rules by undercutting the hotel’s advertised rate.

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