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eTourism Dynamics: Technology and hotel distribution online

BUeTourismLab WTM and IFITT event at World Travel Market on Monday, 3 November 2014 eTourism Dynamics Technology and hotel distribution online: outstanding competitive practices and exciting trends for the future.

BUeTourismLab WTM and IFITT organize an event at World Travel Market on Monday, 3 November 2014.

Technology developments and the fragmented nature of the travel and hospitality industry have enabled Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) to dominate the global hotel distribution marketplace but they have also leveled the playing field for many enlightened hotel operators. So why is the relationship between hotels and third party intermediaries so strained. It is often cited as an ‘unhappy marriage’. Is it because the hotels own the inventory not the OTAs? Is it because the OTAs strip out margin without adding value to the guest experience? Over the past three years, throughout Europe, government bodies have been investigating this relationship. Why? For the hospitality industry? Or for the consumer? It would appear that the OTAs are content with the status quo and usually question the findings of such ‘official’ reports. Have the OTA s acted as bullies to hotels often insisting upon ‘unfair’ clauses in contracts. Or have they provided an outstanding service to travelers.

There is no doubt that they are exceptional retailers. Will the hotel industry and the OTAs find a way to work in true partnership in the future for the benefit of the hotel guest? Will the new battleground be fought over mobile, big data, personalisation and loyalty.

The panel will investigate all these questions and much more including:

  • Price setting
  • Preferential distribution rates
  • Exclusivity contracts and restrictive clauses
  • Restrictions on ability to discount
  • Mirror branding on online search engines
  • Meta search

Invited Panelists indicated confirmed

  • Richard Lewis, CEO at Interchange & Consort Hotels, Best Western Hotels CO-CHAIR
  • Dorian Harris, Founder of Skoosh
  • Tom Valentine Secret Escapes
  • Cho Wong, Managing Director, Supranational Hotels
  • Carl Oldsberg Choice Hotels
  • Jan Sviboda, President of Slovakia Historic Hotels,  Slovakia
  • Jose Cobian, HotelTonight Country Manager for Spain and Portugal
  • Gaucho Rasmussen, Enforcement Director at Competition and Markets Authority.

The event will be chaired by Professor Dimitrios Buhalis and Richard Lewis. Professor Dimitrios Buhalis is a Strategic Management and Marketing expert with specialisation in Information Communication Technology applications in the Tourism, Travel, Hospitality and Leisure industries. He is currently Director of the eTourism Lab and Deputy Director of the International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research, at Bournemouth University in England. Dimitrios is also the immediate past President of the International Federation for Information Technologies in Travel and Tourism (IFITT).

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.