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The indirect distribution dilemma : assessing the financial impact of participation in Booking.com for hotels

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Abstract
Purpose – To assess if the benefits outweigh the costs of participation in online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Booking.com. Design/methodology/approach – A two-step system GMM estimation of a regression model of firm-level return on assets (ROA) on a dummy variable indicating whether a lodging facility participates in Booking.com. The assessment contained various control variables, including size, age, leverage, liquidity and lagged ROA. The moderating effect of firm age and size was studied by including interaction variables between the Booking.com dummy and age and size, respectively. The model was estimated using participation and financial data of 775 Belgian firms over a 20-year period (1999-2018). Findings – The findings indicate that participation in Booking.com is associated with higher profitability, with this effect more economically important and pronounced for smaller hotel properties. Research limitations/implications – The study provides a broadly applicable empirical model to assess the impact of platform participation on the financial performance of tourism, hospitality or retail businesses. Practical implications – The study provides empirical evidence that, from a transaction cost perspective, the benefits of participation in OTAs outweigh the costs, resulting in substantially higher profitability. The evidence can be used to justify the use of OTAs as distribution channels. Originality/value – While prior studies have described and conceptually analysed the evolution and role of OTAs in the hotel sector, and speculated on the net effect of OTA participation, to our knowledge, this is the first to empirically assess whether OTA participation creates value for hotel owners and investors.
Keywords
Booking.com, online travel agencies, OTA, profitability, Belgium, Profitability, OTA, Booking, com, Online travel agencies, Booking, com, ?????, OTA, ????, ???, Booking, com, Agencias de viajes online, OTAs, Rentabilidad, Belgica, TRAVEL AGENTS, PERFORMANCE, TOURISM, FIRM, DETERMINANTS, MANAGEMENT, COSTS, OWNERSHIP, ECONOMICS, BEHAVIOR

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Abdullah, Saddam, et al. “The Indirect Distribution Dilemma : Assessing the Financial Impact of Participation in Booking.Com for Hotels.” TOURISM REVIEW, 2022, doi:10.1108/TR-03-2020-0101.
APA
Abdullah, S., Van Cauwenberge, P., Vander Bauwhede, H., & O’Connor, P. (2022). The indirect distribution dilemma : assessing the financial impact of participation in Booking.com for hotels. TOURISM REVIEW. https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-03-2020-0101
Chicago author-date
Abdullah, Saddam, Philippe Van Cauwenberge, Heidi Vander Bauwhede, and Peter O’Connor. 2022. “The Indirect Distribution Dilemma : Assessing the Financial Impact of Participation in Booking.Com for Hotels.” TOURISM REVIEW. https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-03-2020-0101.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Abdullah, Saddam, Philippe Van Cauwenberge, Heidi Vander Bauwhede, and Peter O’Connor. 2022. “The Indirect Distribution Dilemma : Assessing the Financial Impact of Participation in Booking.Com for Hotels.” TOURISM REVIEW. doi:10.1108/TR-03-2020-0101.
Vancouver
1.
Abdullah S, Van Cauwenberge P, Vander Bauwhede H, O’Connor P. The indirect distribution dilemma : assessing the financial impact of participation in Booking.com for hotels. TOURISM REVIEW. 2022;
IEEE
[1]
S. Abdullah, P. Van Cauwenberge, H. Vander Bauwhede, and P. O’Connor, “The indirect distribution dilemma : assessing the financial impact of participation in Booking.com for hotels,” TOURISM REVIEW, 2022.
@article{8697340,
  abstract     = {{Purpose – To assess if the benefits outweigh the costs of participation in online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Booking.com. 
Design/methodology/approach – A two-step system GMM estimation of a regression model of firm-level return on assets (ROA) on a dummy variable indicating whether a lodging facility participates in Booking.com. The assessment contained various control variables, including size, age, leverage, liquidity and lagged ROA. The moderating effect of firm age and size was studied by including interaction variables between the Booking.com dummy and age and size, respectively. The model was estimated using participation and financial data of 775 Belgian firms over a 20-year period (1999-2018).  
Findings – The findings indicate that participation in Booking.com is associated with higher profitability, with this effect more economically important and pronounced for smaller hotel properties.
Research limitations/implications – The study provides a broadly applicable empirical model to assess the impact of platform participation on the financial performance of tourism, hospitality or retail businesses.
Practical implications – The study provides empirical evidence that, from a transaction cost perspective, the benefits of participation in OTAs outweigh the costs, resulting in substantially higher profitability. The evidence can be used to justify the use of OTAs as distribution channels. 
Originality/value – While prior studies have described and conceptually analysed the evolution and role of OTAs in the hotel sector, and speculated on the net effect of OTA participation, to our knowledge, this is the first to empirically assess whether OTA participation creates value for hotel owners and investors.}},
  author       = {{Abdullah, Saddam and Van Cauwenberge, Philippe and Vander Bauwhede, Heidi and O'Connor, Peter}},
  issn         = {{1660-5373}},
  journal      = {{TOURISM REVIEW}},
  keywords     = {{Booking.com,online travel agencies,OTA,profitability,Belgium,Profitability,OTA,Booking,com,Online travel agencies,Booking,com,?????,OTA,????,???,Booking,com,Agencias de viajes online,OTAs,Rentabilidad,Belgica,TRAVEL AGENTS,PERFORMANCE,TOURISM,FIRM,DETERMINANTS,MANAGEMENT,COSTS,OWNERSHIP,ECONOMICS,BEHAVIOR}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{19}},
  title        = {{The indirect distribution dilemma : assessing the financial impact of participation in Booking.com for hotels}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/TR-03-2020-0101}},
  year         = {{2022}},
}

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