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Hotels hit back at discount travel sites

Hotels hit back at discount travel sites
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

If you travel for business or for fun, you've used online sites like Expedia, Travelocity or Orbitz to book hotels. For you, that's convenient, and you probably walked away feeling pretty good that you snagged the best deal possible.

What you probably didn't think about is, where are your financial savings coming from? According to hotels, it's coming right out of their pockets. And, who knows, maybe they're making up for it by cutting the services they provide to customers.

But hotels are increasingly fighting back against travel booking sites like Expedia. This could work in your favor. Why?

Hotels are giving travelers incentives to book rooms directly with them, and bypassing online travel sites. The perks are pretty good, too, like free Wi-Fi and the best rooms in the hotel.

But the hotels are doing more than that, to fight back against online sites' rock-bottom prices. Some hotels are banding together to convince U.S. government regulators to block Expedia's planned acquisition of Orbitz.

If that $1.3 billion merger were to go through, hoteliers say Expedia would control 75% of online air, hotel and car rental bookings. In January, Expedia merged with Travelocity.

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