Phocuswright Europe 2015 (phocuswrighteurope.com) took to the stage in May for the second year at the Dublin Convention Centre and in a nod to the more topical issues facing Europe, the program featured an Executive Round Table discussion on “The Complex World Of The Independent Hotel”. Along with Bookassist, the panel also featured executives from TravelClick, TripAdvisor, Worldhotels and ToFlorence Hotels.
Among the topics addressed were whether independent hotels had the tools and knowledge to really compete with the OTAs online today, and whether recent moves by the OTAs into the direct booking space were a threat or opportunity for independents.
There was a general consensus that for an independent hotel to survive, it must ensure it is constantly visible online, always competitive and continually converting direct bookings at a high enough rate. In contrast, for the OTA, it only needs to make sure that enough hotels in its listings are doing so.
A comprehensive report on the state of the European independent hotel sector is due from Phocuswright in the coming months.