Working with OTAs: for better or for worse?


Are hotels better off or worse off? Finally we have the answer

A study by Peter O’Connor, Professor of Strategy at the University of South Australia Business School, aims to clarify the OTA question by empirically investigating the added value of OTA participation for hotel properties and its impact on bottom-line profitability. Unlike previous studies, which have for the most part used a conceptual, theoretical or even speculative perspective, this study makes use of comprehensive, multi-year, financial data to empirically establish whether, on balance, the benefits of OTA participation for a hotel property outweigh the (financial and other) costs. The results help to clarify whether it is worthwhile to work with online intermediaries in addition to making the economic and administrative effort to drive direct online sales. Read the Industry report..

For Academics, the full research paper is available: 

Abdullah, S., Van Cauwenberge, P., Vander Bauwhede, H. and O’Connor, P. (2022), “The indirect distribution dilemma: assessing the financial impact of participation in for hotels”,

Tourism Review,

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The mission of the HSMAI Foundation is to elevate the overall calibre and performance of sales, marketing, and revenue optimization professionals in the global hospitality industry by driving initiatives that will attract new talent, develop emerging talent, and engage existing talent. Learn more here.


HSMAI is a 90-year old, non-profit association and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. HSMAI is an individual membership organisation comprising more than 7,000 members globally with a presence in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Brasil and the Middle East.


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