The world of online hotel distribution has become increasingly complex and interwoven, especially since the advent of Google’s disruptive expansion of its direct booking offers. Metasearch websites now offer direct hotel booking, as online travel agencies simultaneously list competitive results beyond the scope of their commission-based listings. As convoluted as this may all seem, the resulting competition for the hotel booking dollar presents hoteliers with an opportunity for increased revenues.
Hotel Metasearch Best Practices
A mistake many hotels make is to treat Metasearch as if it was another distribution channel. In reality it is another channel in which to market the hotel. Hotels should rather treat Meta-sites as an advertising tool, continually updating their listings with fresh, new marketing messages. These websites should receive concerted attention, rather than set it up and forget about it, in the manner of many hotels.
Additionally, Metasearch is a tool in which the exorbitant fees charged by online travel agencies may be limited. Metasearch sites draw data from many sources in real time, including the hotel’s own website. By offering demand-based pricing in real time, as well by utilizing cloud-based revenue management software, hotels can effectively leverage Metasearch to minimize the impact of OTAs.
Another aspect of Metasearch websites, which often gets overlooked by hoteliers, is the reputation management, exposure, and trust building through positive reviews taking place on them. These all can lead to purchases, made by customers directly via the Meta-site’s booking buttons. Since the Metasearch website does not truly have any inventory to offer, it should lead directly to the hotel’s own website. And the future guest completes their booking at a lower cost to the hotel compared to the current OTA commission model.
For this very reason, among others, hoteliers should always ask for and encourage their guests to review, rate, and give feedback about their hotel stays. But that is not enough. Swift follow-up, directly addressing the concerns and issues brought up by customers must be practiced at all times. Communicating how the hotel addressed their negative comments is essential as well. This all provides a vital service to the traveling public, in ultimately determining where they will book their hotel accommodations.
Posted via OnFast - http://www.OnFast.com