How small regional accommodation providers view and respond to online intermediaries
Hills, J & Caincross, G 2011, 'How small regional accommodation providers view and respond to online intermediaries', Journal of Vacation Marketing, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 249-262.
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The internet has become a particularly important means for distribution in the tourism industry, leading to the emergence of many global companies operating as online intermediaries. While research has focused on the strategies of these intermediaries and the distribution strategies of hotel chains, limited research attention has been paid to online distribution with regard to regional small accommodation providers. This study investigates the perspective of these organizations with regard to their evaluations of online intermediaries and their resulting online distribution strategies. Adopting a multiple case study strategy, the research finds that the interests of the small accommodation providers and online intermediaries conflict and result in dissatisfaction. This is resulting in small accommodation providers moving away from contracting online intermediaries in favour of search engine optimization (SEO) of their own website. The study concludes by discussing the implications, and associated issues, of such a strategy.