7 tips for Hoteliers to avoid OTA Sales Hungover

This post is also available in: Spanish

A large number of hoteliers prefer to take the easy route and delegate the responsibility of online reservations to intermediaries. Thus, they are reassured by believing that they will not need to invest in technologies and that someone else will take care of it. They prefer to pay commissions to OTAs thinking that this is the best solution, instead of having control of their own clients.

Direct Sales vs Intermediated Sales

In certain cases, customers go to intermediaries because they perceive that hotels: a) Have higher rates, b) Do not always offer a variety of rates, c) Not all of them have online payment systems, d) Regularly hotels do not have certificates that guarantee a secure purchase and e) hotel websites are not optimized for mobile. This creates uncertainty and undermines the trust of the clients by the lack of an efficient sales channel.

If your customers are looking for you online, make sure that you are taking care of them, if not, they will go somewhere else where they are offered real-time pricing and availability at the least amount of clicks.

Intermediaries’ cost of distribution is around 25% or more in exchange for large volumes of occupation. Such costs include reservation commissions, forced promotions, “parity rate”. Some hotels believe that paying commissions to intermediaries would increase their sales margin, but in reality it only increases their occupation yielding a net income lower than expected. Many hoteliers believe that a large volume of reservations by means of OTAs will help to improve the RevPAR, but what is happening is that the real income is lower, therefore the RevPAR declines. OTAs have exerted so much pressure on the hotel industry that in some countries they are even considered to be monopolies.

When hotels are careless about their sales, the aftermath feels like a financial hungover.

Hoteliers are promoting this vicious circle, without noticing that the solution is to exploit their own sales channel through their own web site, which requires investment in technologies.

By doing so they will be able to:

  • Take care of their travelers.
  • Lower the cost of distribution.
  • Create their own strategies, creating campaigns accessing information from their market.
  • Take care of their brand.
  • Own their business assets.

Taking the easy path will not necessarily yield the best results. Creating your own strategies and controlling them will always be the best option, which requires monitoring and control, as well as the use of technologies that will help you to carry them out.

@hotelrsv

Revert the vicious cycle and convert hotel reservations sales processes into a virtuous circle by:

  1. Updating your Website to be mobile friendly with responsive design, not with redirection to mobile site.
  2. Having professional translations of your website.
  3. Activating TripConnect with a premium partner IBE. CPC or Instant Booking campaigns will allow travelers to compare reservations and book in real time from tripadvisor.com. Learn more on TripConnect here.
  4. Activating Google Hotel Ads, so when users search on Google, your hotel appears with real time rates and availability.
  5. Creating a Blog articles and write about your city, your hotel, the Points of Interest or events.
  6. Use social networks to your travelers’ advantage:
    1. Enable your users to reserve on Facebook, ask your IBE software provider or contact us.
    2. Enable direct messaging to communicate with them.
    3. People often don’t like liking companies, people like people, thus, avoid Like Us of Follow Us campaigns, rather integrate social graph with your Booking Engine software, hotelRSV provides natural integration with Social Graph.
    4. Create targeted campaigns based on social graph analytics. Make sure your reservation platform provides with this info to optimize your marketing social media advertisement.
  7. Go beyond email, enable advance notifications like Apple Passbook for hotel reservations. This not only simplifies your traveler’s planning, but also allows hotelier to access device push notifications for targeted marketing campaigns. Check how this works on our demo.

To keep customers returning to your website, these are two extra features that your hotel reservation software should have integrated.

  1. Optimize hotel check-in and allow travelers to save time: Integrate a mobile web check-in synced to the hotel’s PMS with no apps to install.
    hotelRSV IBE software with apple watchFurthermore, enable your travelers to open their room doors with Apple Watch. Contact hotelRSV to learn how.
  2. Customized review software that enable the hotelier to control which traveler’s opinions go public and on which social or travel portals. Make sure your hotel reservation software is a Review Express partner so you can manage review invitations within the same dashboard.

hotelRSV is a reservation engine for hotels that provides extended capabilities for hoteliers: Passbook integration, Social Graph, Fast check-in web app (multi-device) with apple watch integration to open room doors, customized reviews, customer loyalty software and more! Request a demo today: Get Started

Collaborator: Carlo Teran (Linkedin). Inspired on article by Saul Lara (Twitter: @slaraonline).

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Apple Watch Passbook Passes since June!
45%
Of reservations made via Mobile every month.
4.5M
US$ in Reservations Processed so far year.
70%
Savings compared to OTAs.

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