Expedia had been criticised as one of the biggest perpetrators of the "dimming strategy" among the OTAs. Dimming adversely impacts hotels, customers, and eventually, the OTAs themselves. The company has decided to phase out the dimming process depending on hotel and customer feedback.
"Dimming" is a process through which OTAs seem to 'punish' certain hotels which might be too aggressive with their direct booking policies. The OTAs push down the search results from these hotels or exclude pictures or other important details from the search results of said hotels.
Some industry experts suggest that the dimming strategy ultimately harms both the hotels as well as the OTAs. Just as the chances of the hotel rooms being booked through the OTA lessens, similarly the OTA forgoes the commissions it might have received from the hotels upon successful booking. Travelers also start to question the neutrality of the OTA platform with some hotels being given less significance than others by the OTA.
Expedia has been criticized earlier this year as being the "most prominent dimmer in the travel business." Dimming impacts the customer's decision making process as well as their choices. It might be owing to these criticisms, that the Expedia management has finally decided to listen to feedback and do away with the process.
The hotel industry and OTAs are at a perennial tug of war trying to attract customers to their own respective platforms. However, it is undeniable that they both require each other to grow. If Expedia had been so aggressive with its dimming strategy then that might eventually cost it customer loyalty, as well. Once users find out that their choices are being manipulated through dimming, they might not have faith in Expedia's credibility. Hence, phasing out this strategy might work better for Expedia in terms of customer loyalty as well as gaining more commissions through the hotels which might erstwhile have been dimmed. Overall, this strategy might help Expedia grow further in terms of brand loyalty and better commissions from hotels.
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