The Benefits of Using An OTA

Much has been made of the competition between OTAs and direct bookings on hotel websites with advice being handed out on how hotels can stand up against the rising tide of savvy travellers choosing to book through OTAs.  Yet there is certainly something to be said for marking the way in which travellers are choosing to book, and making the most of it.  Whilst it would obviously be preferable for travellers to book direct with a hotel, thereby eliminating the commission an OTA charges, if that isn’t always possible then hotels should ensure they are using OTAs and reaping the benefits which do, believe it or not, actually exist.

Introducing New Guests

Using an OTA can increase your hotel’s visibility and can encourage guests who might otherwise have never considered a stay at your hotel to book with you.  Make use of the fact that OTAs are popular with millions of online users and gain yourself a reach which you might not otherwise have been able to achieve, even with a strong hotel digital marketing campaign.  We aren’t suggesting abandoning your own promotional techniques but make use of the ones which already exist and widen the pool of potential guests.

 

Package Offers

Spend any time on an OTA website and you will immediately notice that they often offer packages to potential guests such as hotel stays plus car hire, or overnight accommodation with theatre tickets.  This is a service which many people find attractive but which would be too complicated for smaller hotel brands to offer.  By including your hotel in this part of the process, you are again, increasing the potential guests who may then consider a stay in your hotel.

 

Direct Bookings

Although it only consists of a small number of users, there has been evidence of clients discovering a hotel through an OTA and then going on to book with the hotel directly.  This is when it pays to have great offers available which can only be accessed through booking directly; you can entice guests who have clicked through from an OTA for further information, and offer something which competes with the OTAs they have previously visited.

 

Visibility Boost

Obviously one of the main benefits of using an OTA is to help boost your visibility online.  The more your brand is ‘out there’ the more likely you are to gain customers and increase occupancy and bookings in your hotel.  There are a number of other ways you can boost your online presence which will complement the use of OTAs to get your brand seen and to encourage customers to book with you.  Once you have the booking, it is up to you to ensure that those visitors turn into repeat guests who then may choose to book with you directly the next time they need hotel accommodation.

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