Why opposite? Because they are on 2 different sides, far away one from the other, if we consider their respective goals. We can say there are several contraddictions in this relationship:
1-they don’t really know what they are selling: few agencies did visit the places they promote and sell to the public;
2-they don’t really know what the expectations of their customers are, otherwise we couldn’t justify so many complaints on that way;
3-agencies don’t care about the hotel but to spread enormously their offer; on the other hand, hotels, hostels, guest houses and b&b need to keep attention on their specific skills and ability to handle customers’ needs;
4-they (agencies) work on nothing else than operators skills and…real estates: it sounds parasitic. They get the money, operators get cleaning and rubbish;
5-they are, sometimes, made up by groups of operators that want to divert travel traffic on their ways;
6-even if they are not directly built by them, they work in accordance with them…usually the most powerful and ruthless operators. This is what we call easy money;
7-even if there’s an agreement the could seem vanishing any kind of contraddiction, it keeps on working: among the operators by a false competition and within that agreement, concerning fees and commissions policy.
Last but not least I have to admit (only) online agencies are useful for our business. Some of them, of course, are good working while a lot are wasting their and our times in doing nothing useful. Secondary, the web is, nowadays, much more kicking asses than agencies ground-located. This is a compliment; you can find them just following these pages.