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  • 1. SHOULD SPANISH HOTELIERS IMPROVE THEIR COMMUNICATION AND DIRECT DISTRIBUTION STRATEGIES TO PREVENT LOSS OF REVENUE? Josep M Altarriba, jmaltarriba@ub.edu, University of Barcelona Tomeu Pons, tomeu.pons@tsi.url.edu, Ramon Llull UniversityABSTRACTAs we know, many hoteliers have seen their level of dependence on OTAs increase in recent years. Through heavyinvestment in online communication strategies, these virtual agencies are continuing to channel a large percentage ofreservations, which entails the payment of the corresponding fees on the part of the establishments. In this article, the first in a series of three that we are dedicating to the treatment of this issue, we will focuson the study of this phenomenon mainly through an analysis of the roles played by various actors involved in theprocess of online commercialization, and the tools that hoteliers have at their disposal to boost their directdistribution, thus avoiding excessive third-party intermediation and retaining the portion of the revenue that iscurrently allocated to payment of commissions to OTAs.KEYWORDSDirect Distribution · Hotel Booking Engines · Online Travel Agencies · Spain1. IntroductionIn the years following the invention and adoption of the Internet1, and its subsequent widespread use for marketingpurposes (Prasad et al.: 2001), e-commerce transactions have increased exponentially. In the specific case of thetourism sector, this increase has been accompanied by the rapid emergence of a new player in the marketing process:online travel agencies (OTAs), which, over time, have managed to entice the final client, and have created a highdemand for their websites through the intensive use of strategies in the online environment. As we know, these agencies act as brokers to whom the hotels pay a percentage of the reservations theybook through them. A considerable amount of the OTAs revenues is invested in Internet marketing campaigns, andat first glance it seems virtually impossible that hoteliers could combat these strategies by changing their mode ofdistribution. However, if we focus on the key performance indicators of these business models, we realize that with1 According to the Internet World Stats, in 2011 there were 2,095,000,000 Internet users in the planet, what makes a 30.2% of the population. 1
  • 2. cheaper access to technology, local small businesses in tourist destination can improve their performance and thus,receive more direct benefits. In this paper we analyze the environment in which hotel distribution is currently developing, as well as theopportunities available and the impact they can have on tourism enterprises, and consequently, on the economies ofthe tourist destinations themselves; even though, as we will point in our conclusions, we are conducting furtherresearch in order to empirically contrast some of our conjectures.2. The Internet scenario: How consumers, online travel agencies (OTAs), hoteliers,Administrations and social networks act?a. ConsumersIn today’s world, the consumer has lost almost all fear of making travel reservations online2. The modern consumerunderstands and appreciates the advantages the online reservation process offers over the traditional off-line bookingmethods. In fact, it is safe to say that in most cases, time spent planning and researching a vacation is often perceivedas a leisurely activity (Morosan, C. and Jeong, M.: 2006). Today, there exists a multitude of websites replete with content regarding travel destinations and activitiesfor tourists to enjoy during their stay. These websites have evolved substantially, and continue to grow and adapt tothe mediums used by consumers to access social networks. New accurately categorized, well-presented and easily accessible tourism contents are being created, andamong them, contents from other users, either or not they are known to the consumer, are of paramount value due tothe importance of their recommendations and opinions3. This relatively new activity, whose impact is of unarguable significance in the realm of travel and tourism,necessarily requires the use of the Internet, and logically so, since it is inconceivable, in the age of the information, togather, sort, and disseminate such a large quantity of information without the use of the web. However, this process, while highly beneficial for the consumer, presents new challenges for the touristdestinations themselves. Since travel information is so easily and quickly accessed, the consumer transforms theinformation collection process to the process of evaluation, therefore dramatically decreasing the time betweenacquisition of information and decision-making. And more precisely, consumers have reduced the time dedicated to2 In the case of Spain, a 68% of hotel reservations were made online in 2010 (Rheem, C. and Salgado, J.: 2011). In 2011, as per one of the keyfindings of the congress sponsored by Microsoft “Destinola Nube”, a 60% of travelers that visited the country used the Internet to make theirreservations, and a 46% paid online.3 According to the “Activitat turística: el turista en hotel 1993-2010” report prepared by Barcelona Turisme, an 86% of tourists who visitedBarcelona in 2010 used the Internet to gather information about the destination. 2
  • 3. the purchase itself, what we consider as a key element that can have a high impact on the development of localeconomies in tourist destinations.b. Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)OTAs models have evolved their to maximize the number of products offered and sales made, and to improve userexperience.  Regarding the product, most OTAs have thousands of references in their catalogues, and nearly cover 100% of tourist destinations worldwide. Most hotels are listed within the portfolios of the major OTAs, even though there are some exceptions: very first-class and very low-class hotels, as well as those hotels with a limited number of rooms.  Regarding sales, agencies have adopted sophisticated commercialization techniques and have improved their commercial policies, therefore making them more attractive to customers. For example, consumer friendly agencies do not require any down payment to secure the reservation, have eliminated cancellation fees, implemented loyalty programs, and developed flash sales with momentary discounts that eventually reach the 50% to customers that either purchase or travel within the designated time periods.  Regarding usability, OTAs have exponentially improved the design of their websites through the use of sophisticated marketing research methods and techniques and maximized efficiency, thereby minimizing the time necessary to complete a transaction. Typically, websites are designed so that, in three or less steps, customers can carry out most booking processes, thus enhancing user experience.c. HoteliersIn response to the changing world of travel reservations, hoteliers, too, have adapted their strategies on the marketingmix in the following ways:  Product: Hotels have added new room categories with new room descriptions and pictures to better accommodate travelers’ needs and uses. Also, hotels have adapted services and products provided to guests.  Price: Traditionally, as we all know, hotels have maintained static rates for their rooms. This trend has now become obsolete in the changing environment. From the spread of the use of the Internet, hotels have created new pricing indexes to account for new customer needs to such an extent that a 100-room hotel may offer up to 50 different rates. In fact, price generation has become such a complex task that even smaller hotels are hiring revenue managers, once employed only by larger chains. 3
  • 4.  Promotion: Hoteliers have realized the necessity of having their own webpage. However, these websites cannot simply be a digital version of their old paper brochures; style and presentation are just as important as information and content. Hotels must take into account marketing and sales strategies when creating a webpage in order to successfully promote their hotel to a growing online audience. Therefore, hoteliers are paying more close attention to the text used (phrasing, style, presentation) and pictures presented (art direction, processing, and other varying aesthetic techniques). The hotels themselves must now assume these tasks, previously managed by communication agencies, and convey all these information to their corporate profiles on social networks.  Place: The Internet has made it possible to reach anyone, anywhere, without intermediaries; hoteliers are aware of this fact. Not too long ago, customers could fill out online forms that would be answered within 24 hours, similar to the antiquated system of fax reservations. But in the last few years, most hotels have adopted CRS software, enabling customers to make immediate reservations. Basically, hotels have integrated the same services offered by OTAs into their own, unique websites.d. Public AdministrationsSince the beginning of the Internet, public Administrations of tourist destinations have assumed the role ofcategorizing and providing tourist resources to potential travelers. Most public Administrations have followed thispath, but in doing so, acted incorrectly and in manners inconsistent with the consumers’ changing nature ofinformation acquisition. An encyclopedic resource that offers excessive information is an unnecessary and outdatedmethod to communicate tourism information, and is inconsistent with the online buyer decision process. In manyinstances, the information displayed is not valuable for the user and does not include facts about the destination thatconsumers would expect, such as maps, pet allowances or safety issues. Additionally, many of these web projects assumed by public administrations have taken too long tocomplete, meanwhile the Internet has been rapidly evolving by generating new tools and applications to solvecustomers’ needs without offering irrelevant or unnecessary information. These solutions to facilitate travel havequickly spread between travelers through a virtual word of mouth (Lim, S. et al.: 2011). For these reasons, we have come to the conclusion that that role traditionally played by publicAdministrations to promote tourism on the Internet is, in most of the cases, an obsolete resource for tourists, sincethe net has allowed consumers to connect with each other, with OTAs and with hotels directly, thereby bypassingpublic tourism websites. In other words, most of the actions that public Administrations can do to promote tourismare already, and more efficiently, being done, and therefore, they should change their tactics. The primary function ofpublic Administrations, in this arena, is to promote tourism to their destination and the goal of online promotion is toreach the greatest amount of people in the smallest time possible. Taking into account this premise, a more suitabletactic would be to increase their presence and actions on social networking sites. 4
  • 5. However, we believe that all these actions are only a portion of what is necessary for a tourist destination tobe reserved. In effect, after many years of focusing on the pre-sale portion of the booking process, we conclude therehas been a certain abandonment of the actual selling process. Thus, the Administration has promoted, in a massivemanner, tourist destinations that are then sold mostly through intermediaries, since frequently the tourism basedcompanies of the destination do not have the technological tools to take advantage of the flow of demand createdthanks to the advertisement investment, therefore losing the opportunity to obtain a fair return to these publiccampaigns.e. Social networksSocial networks are becoming new players that need to be taken into account. While their marketing role is stillrelatively undefined (Withiam, G.: 2011b), there is no doubt that social networking sites’ involvement in all theactivities related to the online consumer will be crucial in the near future4. This is logical assumption to make: theInternet has allowed large amounts of users to gather around common interests and share their concerns, and inresponse, other users generate more contents. Since these virtual contents created and shared by users have noforeseeable limit, the time of exposure to these platforms keep growing. Many networks, such as Facebook, currently allow the creation of corporate profiles. These profiles maycontain the same sections as traditional corporate web pages: general information, situation maps, contact data,product description and pictures, opinions from customers, and official releases by which special offers and otherpromotional sales can be announced. In short, corporate profiles on social networking sites are able to perform all theprimary functions as their corporate sites, with the added benefit of being more accessible to their target market.Therefore, hoteliers will have to dedicate the same marketing efforts to their corporate profiles on social networks asthose they are dedicating to their corporate sites. On the other hand, new corporate profiles are incorporating new software developed by other companies,either to manage profile contents or to manage the insights of communication actions through sophisticated strategicmarketing tools. Therefore, this medium (social networking sites) has the potential to become a substitute for hotel websitesas well, as they have the ability to contain the same information as an individual website with the added bonus ofbeing more easily accessed by the consumer. This is due to the enormous growth of social networks and time spentby users on these sites, as we have previously stated.3. Can this scenario create new opportunities?4 As the Nielsen State of the Media: Social Media Report (2011, Q3) shows, a 70% of active online adult social networkers shop online, 12%percent more likely than the average adult Internet users. 5
  • 6. a. The customer and the online environmentCurrently, and despite the 2008 financial crisis, international tourist markets have continued to grow, either becausethe consumers of developed countries have included tourism activities in their basic necessities, or due to theremarkable increase of travelers from BRICs and other emerging counties5. Regardless of the markets, all consumers have adopted the Internet as a basic tool to gain access to theinformation they are looking for. In the case of tourism, the net provides information on destinations and allowstravelers to purchase services, specifically, transportation and lodging. In some cases, complementary products canalso be acquired, especially when they are scarce or there are difficulties to access them, such as visits to protectedareas or restricted monuments.b. The customer and the OTAOTAs have been leading a distribution process that they have been improving in all its stages (Morosan, C. andJeong, M: 2006): consumers and hotel prices gaining, product increases, website usability optimization, remarkableinvestments in technological infrastructure and hardware, and constant enlargement of their customer services. Thus,transactional models once offered by the first OTAs to final customers have nothing to do with the current models.c. The OTA and the hotelOverall, revenues of OTAs come mainly from hotel products and transportation. But, how does this revenue reachthe hotels? There are three possible ways: 1. The client makes a reservation with an OTA, to which they pay 100% of the price. This money stays in the hands of the OTA until the client has stayed the total number of nights at the hotel, and checked out. At which point, the OTA sends the money to the hotel, minus the commission charged by the OTA. The money stays, for a time, with the OTA so that they can respond to cancellations or complaints of the client. 2. The client makes reservations with an OTA and the OTA charges the client a fee to guarantee to hold the room at the hotel. In this case, the client doesn’t know that the percentage paid to secure the room is actually the commission that the OTA will keep. That is, the travel agent is paid at the time the reservation is made and the customer pays for the remainder of the stay directly to the hotel when checking out.5 According to the Spanish Institute of Tourism Studies (IET), in January 2012 Spain received 2,778,116 international tourists, 122,000 more thanin January 2011. Travelers from Russia grew by 61% (Nota de coyuntura de Frontur. Enero 2012). The tourists’ average daily expenditureincreased by 11.2%, reaching 99 euros per traveler per day (Nota de coyuntura de Egatur. Enero 2012). 6
  • 7. 3. In this form, the client reserves their hotel through an OTA, but pays at the hotel. In this case, the hotel pays a monthly commission to the OTA. The client secures their stay by giving their credit card number to the OTA, however, the OTA or hotel only use this card if the customer does not show up at the hotel and did not cancel the reservation (no show case). In the first model, many hoteliers perceive a certain amount of risk. Since the current economic crisis, manyOTAs and tour operators have shut down, and payments made to the OTA never arrive to the hotel, despite thecustomer already being charged. Many hotels, including large international chains, have been unable collect paymentfor rooms that have already been offered to (and paid for by) the customers. Currently, customers find it strange to make a 20% (commissions) or even a 100% (total stay) downpayment to secure their reservations, and one of the consequences is the loss of market share of some OTAs likeExpedia or Booking, taking into account that the first (Expedia) has not changed its OTA model. The third model is the most similar to the model implemented by hoteliers in their own web pages, whichallows for direct room reservations without any payment until customers have already stayed in the hotel, and at thesame time provides security for the hotel in the case of a “no show.” This model has become the most successful andaccepted among hoteliers, since hotels receive payments directly from the consumer and never has to offer theirservices without security, in the form of a credit card number, in case the customer does not show up. Thus, compensations models of OTAs towards hotels have been simplified, especially because what mattersthe most to the OTAs is having the largest possible number of hotels in their portfolios.d. Disparity of prices or commercial rulesSome hoteliers sell rooms through Booking with a fees policy more advantageous to the consumer than through theirown website. The client, therefore, is more likely to reserve with Booking, as they are offering a better deal than thehotel itself. However, when the hotel matches the conditions of sale exactly between their own website and those roomsreserved on the OTA, the hotel experiences a rise in the number of rooms sold directly from hotel’s website, in aphenomenon known by “billboard effect” (Anderson, C.: 2011). This indicates to us a key factor in the hotel reservation process: the client is willing to book directly withthe hotel when the hotel offers the same prices as the OTA, and when the conditions of purchasing, billing, andcancellation are also equivalent. Therefore, any hotel or tourist establishment that applies not only a standard of priceparity, but also a standard of commercial parity, can raise their direct marketing on any customer, anywhere in theworld, thus lowering their level of dependence on OTAs. This consumer behavior, consequently, presents new 7
  • 8. opportunities for income, based on the increase of direct sales without paying commissions to third parties. To do so,hoteliers have to key tools6:  A website managed by a CMS (content management system).  A reservations manager CRS (central reservations system). Obviously, by now, everyone knows that with these two tools a hotel can exponentially increase their directbookings. However, our research has led us to determine that more than 76% of hotels do not effectively implementthese tools7. This is not only the case for hotels in leading destinations, but also, and more significantly, for hotels insecondary destinations. If to this we add that commercial parity and/or price parity do not exist, we notice the missedopportunities to optimize revenue.4. What is happening now from a commercialization point of view?The importance of knowing the effects that the Internet has on the tourism market is evident. These effects can bedivided into two areas: the effects on the client and the effects on the hotel establishment. As we know, the purchasing process is preceded by a search process, whose influence on the final decisionis key. This becomes particularly relevant in the Internet environment, as the search engine greatly influences thefinal site through which the purchase will be made. In most cases, the consumer begins their search by using a search engine, which integrates SEM advertisingor prominently displays those websites sponsored by OTAs. In the early days of online advertising by the OTAs, these companies did not program their sponsored linksaggressively, but for some time now, their advertising departments have used this tool extensively. In fact, thissupport may come to monopolize a large portion of their advertising budgets. Thus, some of them, such as Booking,spend a considerable part of its turnover on ad-words campaigns in Google8, which in turn gives them a lot of trafficfrom customers interested in hotel products. Along with Booking, other similar companies within its industrial group(Agoda) or affiliated (Eurobookings) also sponsor links. Accordingly, we can say with certainty that the samecompany occupies the majority of useful results, i.e. those located in preferred positions.6 As it has been stated by Varini, K. and Murph, H.: 2006, even though revenue management systems (RMS) were critical to optimize revenuefrom room sales, reliance on them became less certain by the irruption of other new technologies, such as intermediaries, that invaded thehospitality sector causing disruption in the marketplace.7 For a comprehensive approach to the intensity of use of ICT’s for hospitalities customer relationship and communication in Spain, see Ruiz-Molina, M.E. et al.: 2010).8 According to WordStream, Booking spent 40,400,000 dollars in Google Ads campaigns in 2011. 8
  • 9. Given these results, the consumer tries to find the link they want: some of them are led to any OTAs site inwhich the name of the hotel appears, others to the website of the establishment itself, this being the turning point thatleads a consumer to choose one site over another from which to buy. However, as we know, the OTAs spend a vastamount of their R&D resources on design and usability, so upon accessing their web pages, the consumer finds afully optimized and focused environment to close the sale. In addition, on the same screen the consumer can findphotos, status maps, opinions of consumers and up-to-date prices that are, by contract, the best offered by the hotel. Once the dates have been chosen on an OTA site, in just two steps the client is informed about the roomsand the final price of the stay, and must only fill out a form with their personal and credit card information to securethe reservation. It should be noted that, in OTAs like Booking, a monetary transaction dependent on a POS does noteven take place, so the process is simplified even more. This is the preferred process by most consumers who currently use the Internet to book hotels, offering ease,speed and a low level of commitment. On the other hand, we must take into account that when the consumer uses thehotel website to book, they must first browse through it in order to find information (Schegg, R. et al.: 2005) such asthe hotel’s location relative to nearby landmarks or points of interest. In addition, there are not customer commentsor opinions on hotel websites, and their booking engines need to be found by users. And it is precisely there where another ordeal begins, because there are times when reservation systems donot occupy the foreground, do not work very well, or do not offer pictures and descriptions of the rooms or abreakdown of prices, as well as other possible options or stipulations (early bird, non-refundable, late check-out).Finally, we have to take into account accessibility to extra services offered by the hotel (massages, spa, parking,etc.). In these cases as well, the OTAs booking engines use to be much more effective than those of the establishmentwebsites. In short, there are many hotels that do not have reservation systems on their own websites, and those thatdo, in too many instances, are so complicated that the client prefers the simpler process of the OTAs, and all of thisimplies that in the process of booking hotel rooms, hotels lose revenue to OTAs. It is necessary to keep in mind, as well, that the majority of these companies are a part of majorconglomerates that do not reinvest their profits in these various destinations. In fact, the profits made by OTAs willmost likely go to a completely different country, sometimes alien to the company activities and/or with advantageoustax conditions.Conclusions 9
  • 10. After analyzing the environment, and returning to the principle question (and title) of our article ¨ShouldSpanish hoteliers improve their communication and direct distribution strategies to prevent loss of revenue?¨ wearrived to the conclusion that there exists an opportunity to increase direct revenue, increasing the profit margin ofany hotel product at the global level (Morosan, C. and Jeong, M.: 2006). The key to this opportunity are the newreservation habits of the consumer; that is to say, the fact that the tourists can purchase directly from the producer(hotel) with ease. We cannot ignore the fact that, in 2010, Spain was the fourth most popular tourist destination in the world 9with tourism revenue of almost 40 billion euros10. And in the same year, the estimated turnover of the hotelestablishments in the country was 10.7 billion euros11, a fact that reflects the potential of the mentioned opportunity.In this sense, although no specific studies have been carried out regarding the concrete origin of the indirect hotelreservations (OTAs, hotels, or tour operators) for the whole of Spain, there are significant data regarding percentageof sales made directly and indirectly by the establishments in some territories. For example, as shown by the resultsof a study conducted in Tenerife (Flores Alberto, D. et al.: 2011), 74.56% of tourists booked accommodationsthrough an intermediary, a finding that we are expanding and breaking down for the entire country in the secondphase of our study. With what we have affirmed up until this point, we do not mean to say that hotels should completely ceaseto sell through OTAs, but rather, as Withiam12 correctly indicates, that hoteliers must conceive their relationship withthese agencies as a strategic alliance that helps to sell their product as much in the good times as they do in the bad,and especially, in those markets which the hotelier will find difficult to access. In addition, and as Ding13 says, the benefits of the direct channel are not only confined to the increase inrevenue, since marketing without intermediaries carries with it the possibility to interact with consumers, gain brandloyalty, and build lasting competitive advantages14. To this list of benefits we would add the decrease in the level ofdependency on the OTAs and the generation of new skilled jobs in the destination, because the realization of thisopportunity requires specializing personnel and new professional profiles, among which might include webmanagers, community managers, revenue managers or directors of electronic distribution. In conclusion, we believe that all the hotels in tourist destinations would have to provide direct sales toolsthat function in the same way as those of the big online retailers. Having and utilizing these tools is of crucialimportance for hotels in the development of both mature and emerging markets. It is clear that part of the money9 UNWTO World Tourism Barometer (Interim Update April 2011).10 As per the statistics collected by the Bank of Spain, the country took in 39,596,000,000 euros from tourism in 2010.11 As estimated by DBK in “Estudios Sectores de Establecimientos Hoteleros”, 17th edition, April 2011.12 Withiam, G.: 2011a.13 Ding, W.: 2011.14 In the case of China, as the cited author makes clear, some hotel chains have recently reduced their dependence on indirect channels, exemplifiedby the experience of Seven Days Inn, which has reached 70% of direct commercialization, while other chains based in the country only receive8% of reservations through the OTA channel. 10
  • 11. currently paid by hotels in commissions to large foreign OTAs could be reinvested to generate economic activity intourist destinations. On the other hand, the sales volume of some hotels is strongly linked to OTAs, which entails ahigh level of dependence. And finally, as we pointed before, the main focus of public Administrations is to makeplans to promote tourism (advertising, public relations), but we think that this work should be accompanied byinternal work in the destination itself, consisting of endowing it with direct sales tools, so the value chain could beconveniently closed 15.ReferencesAnderson, C. (2011) Search, OTAs and Online Booking: An Expanded Analysis of the Billboard Effect, CornellHospitality Report, 11(8).Chan, A. and Law, R. (2006) Hotel Website Optimization: The Case of Hong Kong, Information andCommunication Technologies in Tourism, 2006:60-73.Ding, Wei (2011) Challenges and Opportunities of Hotel Online Booking in China, Design, User Experience, andUsability. Theory, Methods, Tools and Practice, Vol. 6670/2011:3-12.Flores Alberto, D., Salazar Niebla, L., and Santana Turégano, M.A. (2011) ¿Desaparecerán los Tour Operadores? Elpapel de los intermediarios en la distribución turística: Análisis del caso de Tenerife, Pasos: Revista de Turismo yPatrimonio Cultural, 9(2): 341-351.Lim, S., Zegarra Saldaña, A., and Zegarra Saldaña, P.E. (2011) Do market oriented firms adopt Web 2.0technologies? An empirical study in hospitality firms, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal,7(4): 465-477.Morosan, C. and Jeong, M. (2006) Understanding Travellers’ Adoption of Hotel Reservation Web Sites, Informationand Communication Technologies in Tourism, 2006:394-405.Prasad, V.K., Ramamurthy, K., and Naidu, G.M. (2001) The influence of Internet-marketing integration onmarketing competencies and export performance, Journal of International Marketing, 9(4):82-110.Rheem, C. and Salgado Criado, J. (2011) lookinside.travel: Estudio Sobre el Viajero Español. Edición 2010,PhoCusWright.15 Some of them, as the Government of Andalucía, in Spain, are implementing tools to allow reservations in small hotels that do not use theInternet channels (Economía Digital, February, 12, 2012). 11
  • 12. Ruiz-Molina, M.E., Gil-Saura, I., and Moliner-Velázquez, B. (2010) Does technology make a difference? Evidencefrom Spanish hotels, Service Business, 5(1):1-12.Schegg, R., Steiner, T., Gherissi-Labben, T., and Murphy, J. (2005) Using Log File Analysis and WebsiteAssessment to Improve Hospitality Websites, Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism, 2005:566-576.Schegg, R., Steiner, T., Gherissi-Labben, T., and Murphy, J. (2005) Using Log file Analysis and WebsiteAssessment to Improve Hospitality Websites, Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism, 2005:566-576.Varini, K. and Murph, H. (2006) An Investigation of Expert Predictions of Profit Optimisation Opportunities fromInformation Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the Hotel Sector, Information and CommunicationTechnologies in Tourism, 2006:463-474.Withiam, G. (2011a) Brave New World: Online Hotel Distribution, Cornell Hospitality Research SummitProceedings, 3(3).Withiam, G. (2011b) Social Media and the Hospitality Industry: Holding the Tiger by the Tail, Cornell HospitalityResearch Summit Proceedings, 3(3). 12