It is a relationship with ups and downs and plenty of tension, but both parties find a point of common ground between each fight for commission and the always disputed rate parity.
It is a case of understanding that accommodation and Online travel Agencies (OTAs) are the two main actors in the large scenario of hotel distribution. Therefore it is essential to highlight the virtues of each one and try to make the most of said strengths with the aim of reaching a balance between both models.
Ehotelier numbers the pros and cons of these virtual agencies and how they can achieve social harmony with the different establishments. The main discrepancy is in the importance of the price. 96% of guests feel that this is the most important aspect when it comes to booking. A view that is not shared by those in charge of accommodation as only 50% agree with the client’s opinion, according to the last TripBarometer.
These intermediaries can attract traffic and sales through the direct channel, thanks to the Billboard Effect. If means that the hotel’s profile on Booking, or Expedia, if attractive and up-to-date, can act as bait for direct bookings on the hotels website. Likewise, industry professionals can take heed of the OTAs hard work when it comes to usability and adaptation for mobile devices (smartphones and tables).
When the change started towards portable devices, online agencies reacted quicker than hotels. For this reason, the article proposes that accommodation establishments extrapolate work habits such as these from virtual agencies as a guide to strengthen their business strategy. The document refers to the initiative as an “inspired” action.
On the other hand, we find the most common complaints by hoteliers regarding the practices of OTAs.
1) Elevated commissions. They take between 15 and 25% of all the bookings taken on their pages. It is problem number 1 and a great headache for hoteliers.
2) Restrictive conditions. In other words, hoteliers cannot show different rates on the hotel’s web and online agencies. This way the always controversial price parity is guaranteed.
3) Online Reputation. The pages of these agencies only display the user’s comments, but not the answers from hotel management.
4) Colder interaction with the guests. This point alludes to the tendency guests have to book through OTAs for shorter stays. On the other hand, they tend to book longer stays through the hotel’s website or by phone. Internet bookings have eliminated some of the closeness of the client-hotel relationship.
In summary, sector professionals should introduce the most developed and leading aspects of intermediaries. This shared feedback produces a win-win situation and a high level of competitiveness is maintained on the market.
At Idiso we directly connect your hotel to the sales systems of the main online travel agencies and channel managers. Once the clients reach your website, Innwise boosts your direct channel, the perfect combination for the Billboard effect.