This question is one of the current hot topics within the travel industry, certainly after the aggressive way Booking and Expedia and others took over the online world, many of us have a great dependency on the OTA. This is not only true for hotels but as well for Tour Operators (who pay out high commission to get clients), restaurants, wellness-centres, … (who are getting pushed into Groupon).
We all know these commission we have to pay takes a serious part of our budget and I believe we must take back a part of the marketing efforts. To create a balance between Direct Bookings and bookings via OTAs.
Why in the first place took the OTAs took over the online world?
1.The reason is rather simple, these OTA’s consist of technicians and online marketeers, you are running your business, taking care of the the guests
2.The traveller is ‘lazy’ want want an easy way to have a choice. OTAs websites offer this.
What can we do to make a difference, to stimulate a shift and generate more direct booking?
Read the article of Max Starkov, President & CEO of HeBS Digital, the hospitality industry’s leading full-service digital marketing and direct online channel strategy firm based in New York City: Read the Article
Here are some extra thoughts and ideas.
1.As stated before, the traveller is ‘lazy’ and want an easy way and a choice, so work together with platforms that offer this and take 0% commission
Yes it exists, commission based in not the only way to promote packages and rooms. Ex. Google Promotions is already available in some countries, Yabbedoo.com offers a booking like style to promote direct reservations etc.
2.Technically issues: We all know that our business can compete technically with the big online players, our job is to serve the guests. The idea is not to put all your eggs in the same basket, work with smaller, niche players, adapt your offers to niche groups of people, create packages only available if you book directly.
Frederik Van Lierde
Founder & CEO of Yabbedoo.com, the unique and pure solution to promote direct bookings, a platform that brings toegterh the best of OTAs and your branding (http://yabbedoo.com)