We know travelers are using OTAs to book rooms. You know travelers are using OTAs to find the best price for their online booking. And we all know one of the biggest OTAs out there is Booking.com which is why we’re sharing the benefits of using this OTA.
We looked at our clients’ data over the years we’ve found they’ve had higher dollar amounts and longer stays through Booking.com reservations, meaning if you’re not on there now, you should plan to be in the future. Booking.com also has more than 850,000 properties in 221 countries and territories, is offered in more than 40 languages, and each day has over 950,000 room nights reserved through its website.
We know paying OTA fees is a sore point with many businesses but as reservation software advances, it’s becoming more common to have direct connections between the OTA and your software. What does that mean?
An OTA direct connection “provides a simple streamlined process for all distribution updates so hoteliers can minimize errors and labor costs for channel management.” Essentially, you’ll have a direct interface between your PMS and Booking.com so they speak directly to each other when reservations are made or when you update rates or availability. This also bypasses GDS fees and the need to manually manage reservations that come from OTAs.
We do encourage you to get as many direct reservations as possible but do have to point out some of the benefits of using an OTA, especially one that has a direct connection with your software.
- Increase your occupancy: The number one benefit of using OTAs is increasing your occupancy in your market.
- Expand your visibility: Chances are that you already have listings with associations and directories, so why not have a listing on a site that’s designed to secure reservations? Grow your property’s visibility up on a well-known traveling website and have the reservation come right into your booking engine.
- Fill your mid-week or low season: For a mid-week booking, most travelers pop onto an OTA website to find a good deal or last-minute availability. Having a presence on an OTA can help you get those room nights from guests that wouldn’t have gone directly to your website.
- Market to these new guests: Once they’re your guest, remind them that they can always book directly on your website or even share some of the amenities or perks your guests enjoy when they do book direct with you, such as free breakfast or Wi-Fi!
- Reach new and business travelers: Similarly to increasing your visibility, your property will now be in front of thousands of new travelers who probably wouldn’t have found you any other way. This is especially true for business travelers who prefer to have a larger selection of options to choose from.
- Automated: A direct connection allows you to update your rates in your reservation software and automatically update your Booking.com listing as well as automatically adding reservations to your PMS.
- Better management: Make your life easier by managing your property’s information in one software versus having to manually update all listings.