Staying Ahead of Distribution Technology

Technology and the ever-evolving online distribution landscape have transformed the way travelers are booking their trips.

This makes it an exciting time for consumers and hotels, particularly as we see new and diverse travel booking platforms come to fruition. From chatbots to mobile phone applications, to more and more digital options, these new avenues drive innovation and competition.

Amid these transformations, the hotel industry remains focused on putting guests first.

With the latest research showing that some 67 percent of consumers book a hotel visit online, it’s imperative that the evolving digital marketplace continues to prioritize consumer protection.

Central to this, travelers deserve transparency from the beginning to the end of the booking process, as well as clear, consistent, and comparable information to review.

As new options for accommodation bookings continue to advance and evolve every day, the hotel industry remains extremely competitive, with hotels working hard to ensure our guests feel comfortable with their purchasing decisions and that hotels meet all guest expectations, as transparency and customer satisfaction are at the core of the industry’s guest-centric, hospitality-focused business model.

But as we consider online bookings, it’s important to remember that there are many ways that consumers can book hotels online.

While booking directly on a hotel’s website is one of the safest and most popular methods, online travel agencies (OTAs) also play a role, all while global distribution systems, travel agents, mobile apps, metasearch engines, and newer internet-enabled devices and channels make up a significant portion of the pie.

As the collective share of guest-paid revenue from these evolving online platforms continues to grow, our approach to ensuring consumers are adequately protected during the booking process must be holistic, covering established avenues like direct booking and OTAs, as well as newer players that are just entering the market or will be soon.

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