Meta-search engines have become another key agent in hotel distribution, as, thanks to their price comparisons, they are the users preferred choice when first beginning to search. Therefore, sector experts assure us that meta-search engines must be considered a marketing channel and not a distribution channel. Continuing with the interview published on thursday, Tomeu Vich (head of ecommerce and online distribution for Valentín Hotels) opinion on this matter.
In the case of Valentín Hotels, we see that your stays appear in the first search results with a high score. But closer examination shows that the OTAs obtain the best offers for positioning.
Is it an advantage or disadvantage for Valentín to appear in theMeta-search engine results? What is the strategy for this channel?
As we mentioned in the previous article we have, as a second phase, planned to appear in the meta-search engines, but we always have to be sure we can offer rate competitively. That being the case it should be an advantage to the hotel to show up in the meta-search engines.
There is no point in being en every single meta-search engine if your hotel is last on the list.
However, more important than being there, is the hotel’s position in the meta-search engines. Nowadays, presence is not enough, you have to be visible to the client who is looking go on holiday in that region or city. There is no point in being en every single meta-search engine if your hotel is last on the list.
Five years after the birth of the billboard effect concept, we have moved on from marketing through OTAs to using other agents, like meta-search engines…do you feel the effect has changed their impact?
I feel that in a certain way it has changed the impact, as the hotel itself can have a larger online presence and therefore achieve a larger number of reservations through its own direct sales channel.
And now, after the game rules have changed, what is the ace that the hotel has up its sleeve compared with intermediaries when it comes to pricing?
Mainly to be proactive through the direct sales channel, offering an easy website that makes the client feel comfortable and safe, and that this all generates confidence when it comes to sales. Offering added value and having special offers that can only be seen by loyal clients through the use of promo codes and special actions.