A four-year period during which hotels in Columbus, Georgia, were delisted by online travel agencies—and subsequently relisted—created a natural experiment that allows comparison of hotel performance before, during, and after the delisting period. This report summarizes two already published analyses of the hotels’ performance and then extends one of those analytical approaches to develop a more comprehensive picture of revenue outcomes. An initial study compared changes in room-nights sold by Columbus’s hotels with those in neighboring Phenix City, Alabama, which undoubtedly absorbed a substantial amount of Columbus’s lost OTA business. This study found that the loss of room-nights in Columbus was relatively small during the delisting, and it concluded that occupancy in the city’s hotel market roared back once its hotels were relisted. The later analyses present more nuanced picture using indices rather than absolute figures, as well as including the relative effects on revenue per available room (and thus both average daily rate and occupancy). This approach finds that while occupancy did, indeed, flourish, that came at a cost of diminished ADR during the delisting. Moreover, RevPAR did not entirely recover when the hotels were relisted.
Anderson, C. K., & Han, S. (2018). Living without OTAs–A summary of the performance impacts resulting from the OTA delisting of Columbus, Georgia. Cornell Hospitality Report, 18(3), 3-9.