Nowadays, hotel bookings are mainly channeled through Online Travel Agencies. And this is hurting the hoteliers as they are giving a large share from their margin to these OTAs.
Top online travel agencies are charging from 15 to 25 % as the commission on hotel online bookings.
So, the hotels are now setting up a fight back to curb the impact of OTAs on hotel bookings.
In this blog, I am going to discuss some points on how hotels can gain their triumph.
Organic traffic is one of the best ways to generate revenue. So, the first step should be to have a great website with some awesome content.
If you want to get organic traffic on your website then you must know that search engines are the biggest source of Organic Traffic.
So you should have a well directed SEO campaign and for that your content is vital.
Today, travelers search and plan their trips on the internet. So when they search for an option on the internet you should be there presenting your hotel as the best option available.
Pay per click is an advertisement model in which you pay for placing your ad on a website.
If your website is not ranked well on a search engine then getting paid traffic is not a bad idea. You may have to pay $1 to as much as $50 per click for some keywords.
But on an average basis, the cost per click remains between 1 to 2 $.
And it actually pays. If we think then the hotel has the product which an OTA is selling as an agent and the customer searches for the product, not the agent. So if your hotel is displaying on the search results then there is no need of going through the OTA channel.
Meta-Search engines present the results gathered from different search engines. They can be a great tool for hotels when they go one on one to OTAs
They show the location of the Hotel, prices and other information in the results and then redirect the traffic to the source website that can be the Hotel’s website or the OTA’s. Basically, metasearch engines compare different hotels in the results.
Meta-Search Engines do not charge any kind of commission from the hotel, they work on the PPC model.
Hotels cannot offer prices lower than OTAs due to rate parity. So they cannot give direct discounts, so loyalty programmes serve as the option to attract guests.
Loyalty programmes offer benefits to frequent guests. They work in the same way as frequent flyer miles.
When a guest repeatedly stays in the hotel of the same hotel chain then he gets some reward points these reward points can be converted into discounts or upgrades.
Some of the successful loyalty programmes are Hilton Honors, Marriott Rewards, and Hyatt Gold Passport.
Hence, the loyalty programmes are not only critical in providing a better guest experience but they also promote the guests to be a loyal customer.
Hotel Industry has one advantage that any other industry does not have and it is that people like to get promotional emails from the businesses in this industry.
So gathering and utilizing the emails of the guests can have a great impact on the revenue.
So build that relationship with your customers, keep them informed about the offers you are running. This also doesn’t require a lot of investment.
Social Media has a great influence on the mass so they can be used to generate awareness and attract guests. So social media can be used to gain traffic to your hotel website.
People these days like to make recommendations for their trips form their friends on social media or they get motivated from such posts to plan a trip.
Your social media content can also be ranked on the search engine for some relevant keywords.
So social media can serve as a great tool for your brand awareness and promotion.
Hotels and OTAs are playing tug of war. But right now, OTAs certainly have an advantage.
But the time is changing. Almost all the hotel has started a fight to end the rule of OTAs and increase direct bookings.
In this blog, I tried to put forward some points by use of which Hotels can advance with their agenda.
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