“The innovative new distribution agreement that starts in the fourth quarter is, in my opinion, the most interesting piece in all of this,” Wasiolek said. “I`m not sure what that means. Maybe the partnership with Expedia`s corporate brand, Egencia, but all I could say is pure speculation. At almost every industry conference I`ve attended this year, and perhaps in recent months, when a representative of one of the major OTAs is present, the conversation has come at a time when OTAs are now the best friends of hotel companies. Zuhairah Washington, senior vice president of strategic accounts for Expedia Group, said Expedia`s negotiations with hotels have traditionally been about pay rates, but the whole dialogue has become more constructive and “there has been an abandonment in relation to you.” The agreement does not place Marriott and Expedia as enemies, but rather as partners. In a letter Marriott International sent to its hotel owners and received from Skift, Stephanie Linnartz, Marriott`s chief commercial officer, described the agreement as an agreement that “redefines our relationship with Expedia beyond temporary retail booking by using Expedia as a technology solutions provider.” Starting October 15, Marriott will order Marriott to establish links with expedias Business-to-Business Unit Expedia Partner Solutions if they wish to continue accessing Marriott prices and availability in one of the 7,000 real estate chain in 132 countries and territories. “Our top priorities at Marriott are to improve service and transparency for consumers while increasing profitability for homeowners and franchisees,” said Brian King, Global Officer of Digital, Distribution, Revenue Strategy – Global Sales, Marriott International. “With this truly innovative Expedia Solution, we can increase our focus on leisure providers, while solving distribution problems and improving the profitability of our hotels around the world.” The hotel and travel industry has been following the agreement between the two companies for some time and expects Marriott`s new scale to give it some influence in negotiations with one of the world`s largest online travel agencies.