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We’re Using the Wrong Message to Fight OTAs

October 10, 2017 • By
Have hotel marketers squandered their primary weapon? image1 Looks like we might have been going about this all wrong. The thought that a guest’s primary travel concern is saving money is an assumption that needs to be reexamined. According to JD Power & Associates’ North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, guests are more likely to be dissatisfied with their hotel experience and come across more problems (like canceled reservations or last-minute changes) if they book through a third-party, such as Travelocity or Expedia. So, what does this mean for you?

It’s time to change the overarching hotel industry strategy from emphasizing price parity to tapping into consumer fears of OTAs.

Instead of obsessing about Best Rate Guarantees, we all need to start focusing instead on how reservations, cancellations, changes, room selection and refunds are perceived by consumers when they book direct vs indirect. Many consumers (especially older ones) have preexisting concerns about third-party bookings and fear that one mishap with an OTA could unravel their travel plans in seconds. Meanwhile, hotels offer two vital things that OTAs do not: a secure, direct reservation and a dedicated staff that truly cares. (Smart marketers like Hilton have taken this dynamic to another level by enabling loyalty members to select their own rooms. This is a powerful differentiator, which adds even more peace of mind and diminishes OTA value.) Trust Issues: Many Consumers Don’t Like OTAs It doesn’t take much to prove how unhappy customers are with OTAs. Both Expedia and Priceline have consistent and dismal 1-star ratings on a popular review site: Consumer Affairs. There are legions of horror stories by guests left in a lurch when they arrive to their hotel with an OTA reservation in hand, only to discover their hotel is sold out and there are no more rooms available. Or, even worse, that the hotel has no record of the reservation at all! image2 The internet is flooded with examples of angry OTA customers, such as this family who spent almost 7 hours on the phone with Expedia customer service reps to get a partial refund when their reservation was canceled due to overbooking at the hotel. Or, this traveler who booked a room in New Orleans on Priceline, only to have Priceline switch his reservation to a hotel of lesser standards, without an option to cancel. How to Take Advantage: The best hotel marketers have learned how to appeal to guests’ emotions, rather than rationale. Emotional messaging resonates more than simply selling physical amenities. One way to leverage emotional messaging is to reposition OTAs in a guest’s mind. In Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, marketing gurus Jack Trout and Al Ries teach businesses to build messaging around their competitor’s weaknesses. For example, Tylenol went after the aspirin business by adopting this message: “Aspirin can irritate the stomach lining, trigger asthmatic or allergic reactions and cause small amounts of hidden gastrointestinal bleeding… Fortunately, there is Tylenol.” In the case of hotels vs OTAs, we should remind prospective guests at every opportunity that booking direct is the safer play. That your family vacation, business trip or long-awaited romantic weekend is too important to risk in any way! Hotel marketers should communicate this critical message in key touchpoints with prospective guests during the research phase of their purchase journey:
  1. On your direct hotel website home page
  2. In your search/PPC ads
  3. In your retargeting display ads that follow consumers after they visit your website
  4. In social media posts
  5. In call/reservations center training
  6. Inside your booking engine, where more than 95%+ of date searchers will abandon before booking
The Bottomline:  Price parity is important, but tapping into consumer fears of booking with OTAs provides smart hoteliers with ample opportunity to migrate bookings back to the hotel direct. Hotels should remind prospective guests at every opportunity that their direct websites and call centers are 100% dedicated to handling the needs of their property... While OTA booking engines and call centers are servicing tens of thousands of properties (including your compset’s)!  

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Friday Freebie: How Free Parking Can Reduce OTA Commissions

August 11, 2017 • By
FridayFreebie-Tambourine-600x600 Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. This week’s freebie: Capture more DIRECT Labor Day bookings from drive markets by showcasing free parking on your hotel website.  Millions of travelers will be hitting the road this Labor Day weekend, looking to celebrate their last summer weekend. Your drive markets are your best audiences to promote a last-minute getaway for the holiday. Travelers are already enjoying the lowest gas prices in years. Sweeten the deal by including free parking in your Labor Day packages and specials ACROSS ALL CHANNELS…. But emphasize it on your direct hotel website. OTAs have hundreds of thousands of properties on their websites, they cannot keep up with the promotions at all of them! By prominently showcasing the free parking perk (“Book direct and get free parking!”) you will create the perception that free parking is a special, direct-only benefit, without jeopardizing your OTA relationships. Get more: 5 Ways to Attract Last Minute Labor Day Bookings from Your Drive Markets

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Video: Watch What Happens When OTA Users Actually Shop Online

March 21, 2017 • By

Everybody has theories about why so many people prefer to shop for hotels on OTAs… but have you ever actually seen them do it?

To find out why so many guests prefer booking hotel stays on an OTA instead of a hotel brand/direct website, we hired UserTesting.com, a well-known website testing company that records unbiased (but demographically relevant) consumers while they search and book hotels online.

See for yourself!

Here are two videos of actual users (listen to their comments) as they shop for rooms on Expedia and then directly from the hotel's website:

Video 1: Click here to view. Participant using desktop computer. Male | 35–55 | United States | Income $100K–$150K+

Video 2: Click here to view. Participant using smartphone. Female | 35–55 | United States | Income $100K–$150K+

Here Are 3 Key Lessons to Take Away From These Two Customers' Experiences:

1. A Slow Booking Process Will Hurt Revenues

What we found reinforced a lot of what hotel marketers already know: guests think OTAs are easy-to-navigate and appreciated their simple process. In comparison, a hotel’s site was lengthier, not as intuitive and required too much information to complete a booking.

One user said, “Expedia was a lot easier and a quicker process to use. While the hotel’s website experience was not a bad one, it was more …’time-consuming,’ asked for more details. As a busy traveler, I would prefer to navigate through the check out process quickly.”

Consider this: It requires TWO steps to book a hotel on an OTA, inputting personal information and payment details.

To make the same reservation directly from the same hotel found on Expedia, the user had to navigate through SIX steps. This included asking the customer to select optional amenities like wine/champagne or flower arrangements, input a loyalty membership number, request a room preference and enter arrival and departure information.

2. Prominently Showcase Direct Booking Benefits

Your guests are not hotel industry insiders.

They don’t immediately understand why it’s best to book direct. So, it is up to you to tell them WHY they should. After all, once a customer discovers your property on an OTA, the next place they go is to your hotel’s direct website. So, give them legit reasons to book direct rather than returning to the OTA.

Make it obvious if you offer free Wifi, free parking, discounts at the spa and restaurant, or whatever other perks you offer guests REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY BOOK DIRECT OR NOT (sometimes, OTAs fail to showcase these perks)!

People have fleeting attention spans, so it’s important to make these benefits prominent and distinct, not buried in small letters or on an interior page of your hotel's website. Put them on the homepage and make them obvious in as many places as you can.

3. Automate Your Best Rate Guarantee

Besides usability, another OTA benefit that users really appreciated was seeing all the options in one place. These users enjoyed being able to see many hotels and pricing options from one site. 

This is yet another brilliant OTA tactic: Show your competition and their prices, so that customers aren’t tempted to leave your site to compare prices on their own.

Borrow this winning strategy by showing rates from various channels directly on your website. After all, guests don’t know that OTAs offer the same price for a room, nor are they aware of the concept of rate parity.

The best way to tackle this is to place your Best Rate Guarantee into your booking engine itself, where rates from OTAs are displayed alongside your own. Not only does this satisfy a guest’s desire to comparison shop, it proves that booking direct offers the best value.

While it’s easy to point fingers at OTAs for siphoning customers and bookings, let’s not forget who truly drives their success… the customers themselves.

It’s the customers who decide where to research room rates. It’s the customers who decide where to spend their money.

If anything, OTAs need to be credited for their marketing prowess. It’s only because of their careful attention to the user experience and customer preferences that customers are drawn to them in the first place.

 About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Friday Freebie: The First Step In Converting OTA Guests Into Direct Bookings

November 4, 2016 • By


Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. 

This week’s freebie: Convert OTA guests into future direct bookings by capturing their email address.

We can understand the frustration hoteliers have with business booked through an OTA. Not only do you pay hefty prices for one reservation, but OTAs don’t share the customer’s email address when it arrives in your PMS, barring you from digitally remarketing to these customers later.

But, there’s an extremely easy solution to this. Smart hotels simply ask the guests directly for their email address and give them a good reason to do so.

Here are a couple of ideas. Ask for the guest’s email address to:

  • Receive an email receipt of their stay.
  • As a log-in for Wifi.
  • To send them exclusive deals for future stays.

The bottom line: Don’t let an OTA guest walk away without collecting their email address. That is the only way you can market to them in the future and stay on their radar for other travels.

Get More: How Hotels Make Their OTA Addiction Worse

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

OTAs Hitting Hotel Owners Where It Hurts: Real Estate Values

November 1, 2016 • By


A new report from the AHLA has sent a ripple of concern through many hotel owners.

According to the report, entitled: Demystifying the Digital Marketplace“the revenue retained by US hotels after paying all customer acquisition costs declined by almost .4% or $600 million… That $600M in additional cost would have contributed directly to net operating income. Using an 8% capitalization rate (which most investors require), these additional acquisition costs of $600 million reduced the asset value of the overall hotel industry by at least $7.5 billion.”

Translation: Costly third party bookings are eroding profits and overall hotel asset values.


The situation for many owners is even more serious in markets with new supply and growing Airbnb listings. Meanwhile, pricing power and occupancy everywhere seem to be peaking, which restricts revenue even further. All of this, in conjunction with acquisition costs rising, appears to be signaling an impending slowdown in RevPar. All of these factors mean hoteliers are left with less net revenue each month, with only one smart option to pull them out of the sinkhole of eroded margins: to drive bookings from the hotel’s direct channel.

The only way for hoteliers to increase their margins is by reducing the fees they pay to third parties and focusing their efforts on increasing direct, higher margin bookings.


You may not be able to ditch OTAs altogether, but you can leverage them as a customer acquisition tool and convince the guest to remain loyal from that stay forward. Not only then do you "own" the customer, guests who book direct tend to be more loyal, spend more and stay longer.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

The Incredible OTA Stat That Everyone Has Forgotten About…

August 29, 2016 • By


Sometimes, we all need to be reminded of just how much we’re throwing away by leaning too heavily on OTAs as a primary source of online bookings. Everyone knows that OTA bookings cost more, but very little is ever made of the amazing fact that OTA bookings are usually much lower in total value than direct bookings.

Siteminder, which is a unique position to see booking flow from both OTAs and direct websites, recently stated: The average booking value hotels are realizing on their direct website is nearly double the value they are receiving from third-party booking channels. (The finding is based on the 43.5 million reservations).”

And Kalibri Labs, which helps hotels evaluate revenue performance, analyzed the daily stay and cost history from 25,000 U.S. hotels from 2011 through present. They found that bookings made directly on your hotel brand’s site were 9 percent higher than OTA bookings. Plus, when you factor in ancillary on-property spending, direct bookings brought in up to 18 percent more revenue than OTA reservations!

Here are the reasons behind this surprising stat:

1. OTAs Are for Brand Atheists and Price-Conscious Shoppers

The picture of an OTA customer is clear. They don’t care about your hotel brand (or any other property’s brand for that matter), what makes your experience unique, or any of your updates and renovations. 

You are a commodity to them. They’re looking solely at price and where they feel they’ll receive more bang for their buck.

OTAs are not only your least valuable booking sources, they are also your costliest. To make matters worse, many hotels attempt to out-do their competition on OTA channels by offering even lower rates than what is listed on their own hotel website (via opaque offers). It’s the hotel industry’s version of self-sabotage. Not only is this short-sighted, it unnecessarily undercuts and cheapens any other efforts you make to drive profitability at your property. Lowering already-discounted room rates will ultimately leave potential guests no reason to book direct.

2. Direct Bookers Are Loyal Guests Who Tend to Stay Longer

Guests who book direct care about so much more than price. They want something unique that only your hotel can offer. They’ve done the research, looked at your comp set, read your reviews and have deemed your hotel worth their time and money. 

These invested guests tend to book longer stays and spend more money on ancillary products during their visit. Plus, the value of these directly booked guests only multiply because there is a large possibility that they’ll come back for a return stay, meaning more room nights and even more ancillary spend.

The Big Takeaway:

The major lesson behind this incredible stat is this: 3rd party bookings not only cost more, they also bring less total revenue.

Instead of lowering your rates and paying hefty commissions for low-value OTA bookings, get smart about investing in marketing tools This includes retargeting tools, personalized and targeted email marketing, live chat to engage visitors, a booking engine with automatic best rate guarantee, reservation recovery, and a stunning responsive website and mobile site.

This will ensure a more balanced approach to your distribution and give your hotel the full benefit of higher value bookings.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit:www.Tambourine.com

3 Ways To Overcome The Perception That OTAs Are Cheaper

August 2, 2016 • By


It’s all too easy to blame OTAs for your hotel’s shrinking profits by pointing fingers at their costly commissions and frustrating policy of withholding customer contact information. But, in reality, the biggest battle you face isn’t so much against the OTAs, but rather the mindset of OTA customers.

The truth is, your profit margins are being squeezed because of the general public’s assumption that OTAs offer the cheapest rates! According to a Tnooz survey, 75 percent of travelers between the ages of 18-64 believe that they can find the best hotel prices on an OTA. It’s time to poke holes through this OTA myth and sway customer perception with the truth.

Here are 3 tips on how to convince your audience that booking direct is best:

1. Reinforce Best Price Guarantee

Consumers usually aren’t aware that your hotel offers the exact same price as OTAs for the same rooms. So, it’s up to you to continuously reinforce the message that booking direct is in their best interest. You’d be amazed how much your conversion rate can go up by simply placing a prominent reminder to consumers on your booking widgets that booking direct is better!

Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to simply have a Best Rate Guarantee on your website. That has very little impact on the average consumer (and often requires them to go through the hassle of completing a form just to take advantage of it). Today’s guests are all about convenience, so the smartest tactic is to build your BRG into your booking engine itself, where OTA rates are displayed next to your own rate, proving to the visitor that only booking direct gets them the best prices. This type of feature will also automatically match the OTA’s cheaper rate if they are out of parity.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 4.05.00 PM

2. Simpler Design and Booking Process

Because OTAs cover so many aspects of the travel experience – hotels, airfare, car rentals, activities, cruises and bundle packages – their websites are naturally complicated, cluttered and overrun with content. You can use that to your advantage by ensuring that your hotel website design is  easy on the eyes and simple to navigate. Create a visually arresting story. Select only your most stunning images, cut down on unnecessary text and reformat current text so it is easier to digest.

Most importantly, don’t make it complicated to book a room with you. There are plenty of antiquated booking engines that are littered with small text, redundant buttons, complicated design and too many fields to fill out. All of these elements can frustrate a traveler and irritate them enough to give up, abandon their reservation and find a better hotel that is easier to book with.

3. Highlight Direct Booking Benefits

Go beyond the standard Best Rate Guarantee and showcase the perks that only guests who book direct can enjoy. Is it complimentary WiFi? A complimentary upgrade (if available)? More loyalty points? Free daily breakfast? It’s about highlighting the value of booking direct and getting that message across in as many channels as needed. The first place a traveler goes after seeing a hotel that interests them on an OTA site is to the hotel’s website itself. So, publish your direct booking benefits visibly and prominently on your homepage, add it to your retargeting ad copy, include it in every post-stay email and remind your followers of it occasionally on social media.

 About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

How Hotels Make Their OTA Addiction Worse

June 28, 2016 • By


The cycle of OTA dependence is all too real and aggravating. But, it’s time to face the facts. It’s your fault, not the OTA’s, if an OTA-driven guest doesn’t come back and book direct the next time around.

Some hoteliers are dropping their pitchforks and getting smart about their relationships with OTAs by leveraging them as a customer acquisition tool. We agree with this approach. It’s time to embrace OTAs as a channel (albeit an expensive one) that gets new business in the door. But once that OTA guest checks in, it’s now up to you and your staff to make an extraordinary impression on them to keep them loyal from that stay forward.

In other words, you should only be paying for that OTA customer ONCE. Then, use these tactics to keep the guest coming back to you, not the OTA, for a return visit:

1. Deliver a Remarkable Experience

Today’s hotel guests want amazing experiences. They want more than your amenities and creature comforts, more than packaged entertainment and big-ticket attractions. Out-of-the-ordinary experiences are what will ultimately compel guests to return to you again and again. Look at what your comp set is doing to stand out. How can you top their offerings and stand out amongst the crowd? Get creative and brainstorm ways to wow

image2your guests in unexpected ways. Some stellar ideas we’ve seen in the industry include a chocolate buffet, a running concierge, complimentary photo memory books and a fun-loving dog you can adopt for the day.

Extraordinary experiences do more than just urge the OTA guest to book direct for a return visit.  These experiences compel guests to share stories and brag to their friends, family and social networks, giving you even more exposure to new business.

2. Build a Culture of Great Service

Even with a remarkable experience, it's the staff that can really make or break a guest’s stay. Encourage managers and employees to personally connect with guests and build relationships. Make it clear to the front desk that a guest is a guest, no matter what channel they came from. Often, guests who book through an OTA are assigned to the lowest room product, which can often cause major friction and cause them to feel as if they are being punished. Why punish a new customer? Even worse, that guests will leave your hotel believing that your worst rooms are the BEST you have!

Because most OTA guests don’t understand the nuances of their reservation, they may not even be aware of what else your hotel has to offer. Mention larger room types that you have available and upgrade them when space is available (the loyalty you will engender is greater than the cost of any net operational revenue you might incur). Offer them local tips on how to make their stay even better. Make sure your front desk conveys to these guests how happy you are that they chose you. Treat them like VIPs, as you would any other guests, at every touchpoint.

3. Collect Their Email Address Upon Check-In or Check-Out

We can’t stress this enough. Don’t let OTA guests walk away without leaving their email address! This is the only way you can market to these guests later and stay on top of their mind. But, you have to give them a good enough reason to do so. Offer to send them their receipt directly to their email. Ask for their email address when they log-in for Wifi. Offer to send them an exclusive offer via email.

4. Communicate the Benefit of Booking Direct While On Property

It is your responsibility to educate your guests on all the reasons why it’s worth their while to book direct. Leverage the one thing that OTA doesn’t have – personal interaction with the guests. Have your front desk mention all the perks of booking direct casually upon check-in and check-out. Print out the benefits on keycards, hotel brochures and even the signage in the elevator. Email the guests post-stay thanking them for their business and offering them an exclusive offer to return. Every OTA guest should walk away aware of the privileges they’ll receive if they book direct the next time around.

 About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Want To Beat OTAs? Do This One Thing

April 11, 2016 • By


There's no doubt OTAs have several things that you don’t, like up-to-the-moment technology, a global staff reaching tens of thousands and marketing budgets with lots of commas. 

However, they do have their weaknesses, including a major flaw that also happens to be one of your hotel’s strongest marketing weapons: your ability to present your property as THE best place to experience your city/region.

Modern travelers are no longer drawn solely to price, convenience or rooms with a view. They want what’s OUTSIDE your front doors. They want to explore, discover and make memories. In fact, according to a TripAdvisor study, experiences and the promise of an enhanced perspective are what ultimately drive travelers to pull out their wallets.

What OTAs lack is true, local knowledge that showcases remarkable things to do, see and taste that can turn a traveler’s itinerary from blah to brilliant. You have a powerful unique ability to PROMISE the guest that you will enhance their perspective of your city/state/region, and OTAs cant do that across thousands of properties!

Check out this chart from the TripAdvisor study, which shows the disparity between what travelers actually want vs. what hoteliers THINK travelers want:


Leverage your local upper hand and use your hotel website design to showcase your destination and meet consumers craving for authentic travel, and beat OTAs while you’re at it.

Provide a Sense of Place:

Modern travelers are experiential explorers, first and foremost. They want to experience your destination at every touchpoint, from eating locally sourced ingredients at your restaurant to being surrounded by the works of local artists on your walls. Showcase all the ways they can experience your destination in an authentic way, from telling the story of the local boutique down the street, the family-owned restaurant that all the locals love or the hidden hike that mostly locals venture out on. Make your hotel website more about your destination, rather than a boring list of your amenities.

Sure, OTAs are great at selling hotel rooms. But, they can’t hold a candle to your hotel’s ability to share the experiences that will ultimately matter. Make destination marketing a priority on your hotel website. When you showcase the secrets and local experiences of your destination, you’ll win over travelers’ hearts and their wallets.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

A Mess of Millions: OTAs and The Truth Behind Their Unpaid Hotel Taxes

April 7, 2015 • By
tax The OTAs have been spending a lot of time in the courtroom lately. What’s behind the courtroom drama? Unpaid hotel taxes. The figures are eye-opening, the depth is staggering. Here is the shocking truth surrounding the striking tax disparity facing our industry:

OTAs are choosing how much to shortchange the Government

Online travel agencies and companies currently calculate local and state hotel occupancy taxes by the net amount they pay to the hotel, NOT the higher amount they pull in from a customer for that room. In other words, they aren’t paying taxes on their markup because they claim that the transaction did not occur in the State where the hotel is located.. their position is that the transactions occur in tax-free cyberspace! The result? Local and state jurisdictions collect lower taxes for the rooms booked thru an OTA, than from a hotel. And, OTAs are pocketing the full difference. Amplifying their revenues and enabling them to continue to extend their domination over hotel marketers seeking to increase direct revenues.

OTAS are aiming for Federal exemption from local tax laws

Jurisdictions across the country have become aware of this OTA competitive advantage and the unpaid tax revenue. Lawsuits have been filed against the OTAs from Hawaii to Florida. And, in response, these travel agencies are proposing legislation that would protect their tax practices by naming it as a legitimate tax exemption, compliments of a federal preemption of local and state authority.

The numbers start small, but add up to a mammoth figure

The states’ lawsuits are trying to grab back what basically amounts to a few dollars per room night. However, those small numbers add up. Together, OTAs have suppressed local and state government receipts up to $396 million each year, according to the Washington DC-based Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Meanwhile, the largest online travel sites have seen their revenues grow by up to 70 percent.

Lawsuits are heating up

The City of Los Angeles was the first to file a room-tax suit in 2004. Since then, dozens of municipalities stretching across the country have filed similar suits. In the past six years, Oregon, New York and Washington, DC, have amended their hotel tax regulations that clarify OTAs DO owe taxes on the retail rates they charge to customers, not the wholesale rate they pay to the hotel. (See where other states stand here). Without federal legislation on the matter, there’s no end in sight to the lawsuits by cities, counties, states, consumers and towns, as well as enforcement actions by numerous tax authorities and audits.

Expedia’s current tax bill

The leader in U.S. online travel bookings, Expedia, is currently facing a hotel tax bill of more than $800 million if it loses all of its appeals. This figure is how much Expedia would owe the scores of U.S. county and city governments in unpaid tax payments across a decade, according to tax-revenue records and lawsuit reviews. Let’s all stay on top of this issue, especially when lawsuits are filed against these OTCs by our local cities or states. Track the courts, media outlets and state legislatures by going to Hotel Tax Fairness.