Many hotel owners find themselves in the unenviable position of having to match rates, because they don’t want to lose the business. What’s more, hotels are increasingly depending on online travel agencies, yet dealing with them becomes more and more difficult.
Mit Shah, CEO of Atlanta-based Noble Investment Group, said at the recent Southern Lodging Summit in Memphis, while third-party intermediaries play a role in decreased rates, it’s not as bad as it was during the post-9/11 days.
“Eight years ago, we completely blamed the intermediaries,” said Shah, whose company owns more than 40 hotels across the country. “Since then, the brands have been completely focused on educating their franchisees.”
Wayne Goldberg, president and CEO of Irving, Texas-based La Quinta Inns & Suites, said there was a point when pricing control was given up to someone else.
“Today, I’m channel agnostic,” he said. “There’s no free channel. There are channels that are less expensive than others, but everything has a cost. It’s about educating the consumer that they’re not really getting a better price somewhere else. … As long as I’m comfortable that the margin I’m paying for that room is reasonable, I’ll sell it all day long.”
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