12 Mar Think about OTA bookings differently

Think about your relationships with OTAs as channel marketing and a one-time acquisition fee.

As competition dwindles for OTAs with only two main competitors in the marketplace, OTAs have no incentive to reduce commissions.  And it´s tough to compete with their tremendous advertising budgets.  Here´s a suggestion from eHotelier:

“The best course of action for any independent hotel is to focus on local marketing and drive guests to their direct channels. Reducing the overall dependency on these OTAs is important at any commission rate. Utilize the tools that already exist, but have been forgotten.

Regardless of how a guest books their first stay, how they book their next is still up for grabs. Seize this opportunity by building stronger relationships with your guests. Ask questions during their stay and find out why they are and why they are there. Guests celebrating an anniversary or a birthday are going to be doing the same thing next year and leaves the door open for a direct booking. Train the desk staff to take notes about the guests and ask for email addresses.”

Take time to develop better personal relationships with your guests through email campaigns, special promotions that appeal to your customers and by working with the guest information your team collects during a visit. This is something the OTAs don´t know about your guests.  Make it work for you and you´ll start to see the OTA fees as a one-time acquisition cost.

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