Hotels

Hilton says battle won against OTA’s

Tara Harrison

The battle between hotel conglomerates and online travel agencies (OTA’s) has been decided, according to Hilton.

Its campaign for consumers to book direct was a no brainer, Hilton Worldwide Australasia Asia Pacific Vice-President Paul Hutton told Travel Weekly.

“Someone needed to take on the OTA’s and Hilton took them on and all our competitors have now followed suit.”

“You needed to have broad shoulders to take on the behemoth that is,” Hutton said.

Hilton was just the warrior, with the power of its 4,800 hotels, Hutton said.

But rather than call it a war, Hutton said that it was about “getting our balance right”.

There was, however, a period where Hilton properties were “dimmed” by OTA’s.

“There was a period where we were dimmed, a deliberate attempt to not so much negate us but to push other hotel opportunities in a given city that were not pushing against OTA’s,” Hutton said.

The relationship with the trade was “testy for some time”.

The stoush mainly centred around the American operations, Hutton said.

“It’s not about a threat of us turning them off or them turning us off, it was about finding middle ground,” he said.

“Of course we want the OTA’s but their business was exponential.”

“It’s not about the fact that we won but we are now fairly represented on Expedia etc.”

“It’s been a tough journey,” Hutton said.


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