Chances are you’re running a book direct campaign or reminding your guests to book their next stay direct to keep your OTA commissions down or perhaps you haven’t even worked with OTAs because you already keep your rates low and don’t want to miss any revenue. While those hesitations are valid concerns they may not be enough to disregard partnering with an OTA.
Let’s consider the facts:
- OTA bookings in 2013 exceeded $150 billion with an estimate to grow 12% each year.
- OTAs will account for 17% of total U.S. travel bookings in 2017.
- OTAs are responsible for 28% of mobile bookings with the expectation to be responsible for 44% in 2017.
- Other OTAs have adopted Booking.com’s 15% commission structure.
- Consumers are most definitely using OTAs to comparison shop.
Now, we’re not saying you should sign up with every single OTA out there but find ones that your competition relies on and that you feel is a good fit for your property. Of course you should still encourage your guests to book directly with you but by not listing inventory with OTAs you are losing out on quite a few benefits.
Benefits of OTA partnerships:
- Increase your customer base with new clientele.
- Increase revenue and occupancy.
- Drive mid-week and off-season bookings.
- Increase your guests’ average length of stay.
How can you leverage these benefits for your property?
- Keep your room rate competitive and low for mid-week or business travelers and upon check-out, hand them a card with a discount code to train them to book direct.
- Market to all OTA guests with promotions or offers through your email or social media marketing that are only bookable on your site.
- Use the OTAs to expand your property’s exposure but then list amenities guests who book direct get – like free WiFi or breakfast – to encourage them to book direct after they’ve concluded their research.
- Establish a loyalty program that only works with reservations made on your website and give each guest an opportunity to enroll upon check-in or check-out.
Want more ideas on how to drive your revenue through tactics like OTAs? Download our free Definitive Guide to Off-Season Reservations!