To what extent has the recession changed the balance of power between suppliers and OTAs? The big online agencies are responding to the downturn by getting themselves locked into a price war. Meanwhile, many suppliers are discounting prices on their own websites and pushing the benefits of buying direct to everyone who visits. What’s planned for the future? And how’s the landscape likely to pan out?
* Given the recession and changes in customer behavior, who’s got more leverage now -intermediaries or suppliers? Who will win? And why?
* How can suppliers lessen their dependence on OTAs by optimizing their websites and building a robust direct online distribution strategy?
* Why do customers frequently prefer a supplier’s direct website over an OTA? What are the pre and post-booking customer benefits?
* Why are opaque channels, such as Priceline and Hotwire, thriving? What is their unique value proposition for suppliers and consumers?
* Why does one OTA succeed over another? How will the balance of power shift over the next 12 months? And how long will the Big Four last?
* What new tools and services are the OTAs about to launch to capture market share?
* When Priceline dropped their air fees, their airline business soared, prompting Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz to follow suit. How do the OTAs rationalize this decision? And what impact is this strategy having on suppliers’ direct channels?
* Will the major OTAs’ decision to cut fees and refund promotions pay off? Or are they risking profitability in a futile attempt to steal market share?