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Marketing Essentials for Independent Lodging by Marie Lanier, Pamela Lanier

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CHAPTER 15

Online Travel Agents (OTAs)

In a recent talk at the University of Miami by Bob Diener, founder of Hotels.com, Bob shared with the audience why and how he started Hotels.com, what inspired his online baby turned giant, and how Hotels.com almost turned into a collection agency versus a viable online business. What struck me at this talk was Bob’s ability to pivot, how he quickly realized that while profitable, large hotels had immense staff and healthy margins, their accounting departments were lacking and Hotels.com was paying the price. Collecting from these hotel properties was so difficult that Bob and his team decided to do something simple which changed the future of online hotel sales forever. Instead of going after the hotels ...

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