By Michele McDonald
Are hotel chains’ “book direct” programs—which promise better rates and amenities to hotel loyalty members who book on their websites—working?
Yes, they are, says John Hach, senior industry analyst at hotel technology company TravelClick. But at the same time, the travel-agent distribution channel is more important than ever.
“Early indications are that hotel chains’ brand-direct programs are having an impact,” Hach said during a webinar on the industry’s first-quarter performance. There has been a year-over-year uptick of 0.8 percentage points, from 25.4% to 26.2%, in hotels’ direct bookings.