It has always been questioned whether do you really need to have more OTA connections for your hotel, or should you just rely on direct bookings on your hotel website. In case you decide to go with third-party distribution channels, then how many such OTAs should you opt for? And why should you not limit yourself to mere 2-3 OTAs for your hotel?
OTA connections for your hotel: An overview
There are many OTAs in the global hospitality sector. Some of them serve primarily in specific locations, while some of them are limited to large hotels as opposed to small accommodation providers. Distribution channels spend a significant amount on marketing and have a much better reach to the guests compared to a hotel website.
Some of the major OTAs are Expedia, Booking.com, and Priceline.
Out of these, Expedia has 28.09% share, Booking.com has 19.13% and Priceline has 16.15% share.
OTAs control approximately 2/3rd of all online bookings. It is evident from the above numbers that it is difficult to gain more bookings without having OTA connections for your hotel. But of course, along with OTAs; GDS, vacation rentals and even hotel website play a crucial role in increasing hotel bookings. Many hoteliers are reluctant to work with such online distribution channels out of the fear that they are going to pay a very high commission and resultantly, they won’t be gaining enough profit margin.
There are different strategies that you can follow when working with OTAs, which include negotiating the commission that you are going to be charged. However, when you’re a part of such competitive industry, it’s never a good idea to limit yourself to just 2-3 OTA connections for your hotel. Instead, you can generate maximum revenue and reach out to more guests if your hotel is listed with multiple online distribution channels.
The job of channel(s) is to find, win, make, keep and grow happy guests. – Hans Peter Bech
Suffice to say, online travel agencies pose as a crucial factor for an ideal online distribution strategy. And if you limit yourself to fewer OTAs, you most certainly may miss out on higher bookings and greater reach in the marketplace.
Why should you have more OTA connections for your hotel?
In the hospitality industry, more is better. When the ultimate goal of a hotelier is to impart best guest experience, you can’t deny the fact that the experience starts right from when he makes the booking.
And as you become more accessible to your guests, its only natural for you to get more OTA connections for your hotel. Here are a few of the many reasons to have more hotel OTA connections:
Considering the above points, getting optimum performance from just a few OTAs is not feasible. It is advisable to have a smart strategy for your hotel’s online distribution and thus go for more OTA connections for your hotel. Without proper distribution management, you are likely to miss out on vast revenue generation opportunities.
Now, how to handle more OTA connections easily?
Managing multiple OTA connections for your hotel becomes a challenging task, where you need to constantly keep a check on uniform inventory and rate parity throughout all the distribution channels.
A smart decision apparently, would be to go for a hotel channel manager which simplifies your inventory distribution and rate management on the online distribution channels you’re connected to.
A channel manager will also reduce your under bookings and overbookings with instant inventory updates on all channels.
Inadvertently, while you’re focusing on getting bookings from OTAs and thereby increase your visibility, do not set aside the fact that direct bookings are equally important. That’s why you should parallelly work on getting more direct bookings on your hotel website in order to be the most preferred choice for guests.
- Dynamic Pricing: Lets you set flexible rates depending on your hotel’s occupancy.
- Complete Inventory Utilization: It will allow you full usage of inventory.
- Instant Stop Sale: Lets you stop sale of your inventory in a single click.
Thus, for a successful hotel business, don’t limit yourself to 2-3 OTAs and have more OTA connections for your hotel. Get a channel manager for your hotel today for smarter online distribution.