The balance of power in online marketing is shifting away from online agencies to the suppliers, industry analysts PricewaterhouseCoopers says.

The firm says high-speed broadband and the ability for suppliers to take control of their own inventory is eroding the competitive advantage once enjoyed by online travel agents.

PwC travel sector leader Malcolm Preston says as content owners, hotels control their underlying assets and the subsequent pricing, whereas online aggregators own little.

“Suppliers are now providing the lowest-cots bookings available on the internet,” he says.

“Those suppliers that have sufficient scale will continue to see more and more bookings made through their own sits.

“It’s the smaller operators that will become the key clients of the aggregators.”

By staff writer