OTAs have now taken a central place in the distribution of hotels, as evidenced by the ubiquity of platforms like Booking, Expedia or Hotel.com. But for hoteliers, the power of the OTAs has not only lost them direct contact with their customers, but also caused a margin loss related to the high commissions ( between 12% and 25%.)
How do you encourage customers to book directly with your hotel ?
Having an attractive and easy to use hotel website
Today, everything goes through the web, the time when travelers were looking for you in a directory and calling you for information is over. What do customers want in 2017? A website which is easy to navigate, with all the information in less than a minute and be able to make the reservation in a few clicks.
93% of French people use the internet to search for accommodation during their travel, whether short or long-term. It is therefore essential that your hotel has an attractive and especially easy to use web showcase.
Upon arriving on the homepage of your website, the traveler must immediately understand what type of hotel you are, and why you match its needs. The importance of the visuals and photographs of your hotel should not be overlooked, given that, according to the study carried out by HRS and the eResult market research institute, 78% of the respondents said that picture of the hotels were a decisive factor in their choice.
If you want more information on how to make your website travelers-friendly, check-out this link.
Integrate a booking solution on your website
Today many travelers and prospective customers check info on your website and leave to book directly on the OTAs website because they feel that their reservation process is easier to manage. Fixing this issue should become one of your priorities, and this involves integrating a reservation module on your website which is easy super to use. Having your own booking system allows guest to book directly on your website, completely bypassing OTAs and their heavy commissions.
Practice rates parity between your hotel and OTA's
A survey carried out by the Promise Institute showed that 86% of customers consider OTA’s to offer better rates than the hotel themselves. That is why it is crucial to inform the customers that he will find the best rates directly on your website by selling the Non-refundable rates only on your website for example. This information will prompt the traveler to continue booking via your website and not to compare with the rates on the web.
Although you might be tempted to offer a cheaper rate on your hotel website, we would advise you not to, as you would most likely be penalized by OTA’s algorithm and fall down the hotel list on their platform
A good SEO is also the key to acquiring more travelers and more live bookings. If you want more information to optimize your SEO and improve your positioning on Google, sign up here to get our advice on it’s here.