It's Always About The Money

Richard Walsh makes a good point in his recent article, The Brands Sell The Brand Not The Hotel Property.

He points out that hotel franchisors often require their member properties to channel all on-line bookings through the chain's website thus limiting the ability of the individual hotels to relate and sell directly to their guest. We all know why they do it....for the fee associated with each reservation transaction.

But, is it smart? Both Richard and I don't think so. He says the chains would still make a buck if they released their partners since they collect fees tied to the incremental revenue gain (of course, not as much...that's why they don't do it). I say, these folks are extremely short-sighted in putting reservations transaction fees ahead of strong win-win relationships with their customers. Eventually, it's going to bite them... Unless, of course, the "brand" is the primary attraction for the hotel in which case the property has bigger worries.