Hotels asleep at the wheel?

There has been much debate about the role of an OTA and the love-hate rela­tion­ship between them and hotels. So do OTAs do more than just provide book­ings?

All our work with inde­pend­ent hotels show that they can help them with addi­tional vis­ib­il­ity in a crowded mar­ket place – the chal­lenge of course is to fig­ure out how to engage the OTAs (and which ones) the right way to get the res­ults you want!

A com­mon mis­take that we see is the belief that all that is needed for hotels to get busi­ness is to sign a con­tract with the OTA and sup­ply avail­ab­il­ity and rates. And book­ings will come through. This may be the case where demand is high and sup­ply of hotel rooms is low.

How­ever in most cases, hotels in pop­u­lar des­tin­a­tions face stiff com­pet­i­tion – and in these instances, this is akin to being asleep at the wheel. When a hotel is lis­ted on the OTAs, it increases expos­ure and chances of reser­va­tions on external chan­nels like the hotels own web­site. So the very act of being on OTA can help stim­u­late demand on that OTA or in other tra­di­tional channels.

How­ever the key step to stim­u­lat­ing true demand through 3rd party web­sites like OTAs is to include it as part of your over­all mar­ket­ing plan. Sales, Mar­ket­ing, Dis­tri­bu­tion and Rev­enue Man­age­ment are no longer sep­ar­ate func­tions.

There is a strong con­ver­gence and inter-dependence in the online space than ever before.