By Fastrack Group
Online travel agencies like booking.com have achieved their success by filling a market void and doing it well. No longer are wholesalers, agencies, and tourist operators required in the booking process. Where people know they can save without additional cost like time, they will.
The downside for you as a hotelier with OTA success is they have become really good in the digital space at brand highjacking hotels and accommodation providers. Every day the smart online operators snatch direct bookings.
If you cut them off, your occupancy rate may plummet in half. How do you maximize your revenue with the OTAs and direct bookings?
Our advice at Fastrack is to not run from the OTAs. They are not all evil. The top ones generate bookings from their great platforms which otherwise would not have come your way.
OTAs have an existing market reach and actively spend money to advertise on your behalf. They are sales staff working on your behalf who earn their commissions.
Another often overlooked benefit of OTAs is they create brand awareness for direct bookings. This is called the "billboard effect". People "drive by" your listing on OTAs to later search your name in Google. When one client de-listed themselves in the OTAs then later re-listed, we estimated a 25% boost in direct bookings.
The problem of OTA dominance arises when they detract from your direct bookings when you lack search engine presence.
If you'd like help to drive more direct bookings, give us at Fastrack a call on 1300 659 289.