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PHOENIX-“Get back to selling your hotel and stop relying on someone else to do it,” said Jim Anhut, chief development officer-the Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group, regarding the Online Travel Alliance. He said it was important to use them as a channel in the marketplace, but to control them by controlling inventory that is allowed into the system. He noted it was also important to work the government side to stay competitive. Joel Eisemann, EVP, owner and franchise services and select service & extended stay lodging development, Marriot International, Inc., concurred nothing that all the large brands have active ecommerce groups. The more important questions, Eisemann felt, were who the online agencies pay taxes to for the revenue of selling a room. It was jurisdictional issue that was still unresolved and a looming issue for hoteliers.

A panel heavy with developers gathered on Thursday morning to discuss OTAs, managing brands, and cost-shaving, among other pertinent topics of the moment. Jeff Weinstein, editor-in-chief of HOTELs Magazine/Hotels Investment Outlook moderated the panel, which consisted of Anhut; Eisemann; Thorsten Kirschke, EVP and COO, Carlson Hotels-the Americas; Thomas R. Magnuson, CEO/principal, Magnuson Hotels; Joseph A. McInerney, president and CEO, AH&LA; and Paul Sacco, SVP, development-North America, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

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