Online distribution

The market of online distribution is getting more and more important for the hospitality industry in Europe.

Unfortunately, the number of relevant market actors is declining significantly and the market shows tendencies towards at least a narrow oligopoly.

In the course of these developments, the hospitality sector in Europe, which is mainly characterised by small and medium sized enterprises, is facing practices in the field of digital distribution, hotel reviews and metasearches that many hoteliers consider to be imbalanced or unfair. Examples are for online marketing practices like brand bidding or domain grabbing.

In addition, hotels are losing sovereignty and control over their rates, distribution and products due to widely applied practices in place, e.g. by having rate parity imposed on them (maintaining identical rates across all online or even offline channels).

Therefore, HOTREC took an initiative to establish some benchmarks of fair practices in online distribution in order to initiate a dialogue with relevant market players with the purpose of ensuring a level playing field for the benefit of guests, intermediaries and hotels.