Here's an excerpt from a recent article we read on intouchdata.com which discusses the battle for the customer dollar between hotels and online travel agents:
The battle between hotels and Online Travel Agents has been a tricky one. What hotels once saw as a profitable business opportunity, they now view as ‘commission demanding bandits that steal direct business.’ The most recent development in the hotel vs OTA fight has come with a recent announcement from the Australian Competitor and Consumer Commission, in which they have negotiated an agreement with OTA powerhouses: Expedia and Booking.com. The result is that hotels can no longer offer lower rates on their websites than what they offer the OTAs. The only way they can remain competitive is via offline channels or loyalty programs.
OTAs offer a one-stop-shop that our demand-everything-quick-and-easy society wants. However, you can use them only as a way to touch guests you wouldn’t normally reach, and once that guest has booked it is your opportunity to take them from OTA guest to direct booking guest.
It is likely that with the same prices being offered everywhere, the pricing won’t be the factor of whom the guests book through. Whilst there are plenty of arguments here for making sure your hotel service is top notch (that is always going to be at the top of a guest’s scorecard), one simple way to not lose that guest from your marketing base is to update their details. The OTAs announced that they would no longer be sending through guest details with reservations.
By making sure you have your guest’s details and not the OTA’s means that your chances of that guest booking direct for their next stay is going to increase. You can prepare for the ensuing battle of parity by winning over your guests through amazing campaigns and offers that are sent directly to them.
To read the full article, click here.