COMPETING IN DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURES. HOW A NORDIC HOTEL CHAIN COMPETES WITH THE ONLINE TRAVEL AGENCIES
Local and regional travel businesses are challenged by global Internet mediators, such as hotels.com, booking.com and Tripadvisor. The businesses are challenged in two ways; the Online Travel Agents take a substantial cut of the gross income, and the local company also loses the initial direct relation- ship with the individual customer. How can local and regional actors fight back? This paper reports from a study of a large Scandinavian hotel chain, Nordic Choice. In analysing the case we build on the concepts of digital business strategy and digital infrastructures. The chain re- sponded to the challenge by a strategy called eBerry, which we describe and assess. Our contribution is the conceptualization of competition in digital infrastructures, and some key elements of an effective digital strategy.