Expedia and Travelocity may have seen better days. The major hospitality brands increasingly prefer to sell their rooms through their own websites, rather than distribute that inventory through third parties. It seems that management companies have grown tired of carving up their profits and attracting flighty guests. Customer loyalty is an ever-growing business metric. The trend will have the most immediate impact on the internet booking giants, but smaller firms in event planning and concierge services could be next in the crosshairs. The good news is that hoteliers’ new game plan should open-up corporate venture-capital opportunities for founders and entrepreneurs. Just as banks have been heavy investors in fintech, we expect to see the hotel chains invest more aggressively in travel-related startups. ■
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