Online travel agencies, popularly abbreviated as OTA, have become an extremely important channel for room sales. Maybe way too important.
On the one hand, majority of hotel runners are happy with the high number of guests booking via OTAs. On the other hand, they complain about the high commission rates charged by OTAs in exchange of the number of guests. An open agenda item in any meetings gathering industry’s professionals, OTA rates are among the serious problems encountered by the industry.
Pulling it off may seem difficult but the solution is easy: Increasing the number of direct bookings. The only thing you need is to know how to do so and use a platform like HotelRunner to help you out.
Here are some tips for you to ease the burden of high OTA rates…
Diversify your sales channels
OTA might be an important sales channel but it is not the only one. Go through direct sales and other selling options in order to reduce your dependency on OTAs.
Shift your focus away from the sales figures. Quality of guests matters.
Sending you a high number of guests, an OTA might seem indispensable. Take into consideration, though, factors like commission rates you pay, average of extra payments made by OTA-engaged guests and average duration of their stay. Only this way can you see how profitable working with an OTA can be.
Keep in touch with your previous guests
Hosting your previous guests again, without using an OTA or a similar channel, would be among your most profitable sales. Keep in touch with your previous guests via e-mail communications and social media and work towards encouraging them to repeat their accommodation at your hotel.
Offer discounts instead of paying commission rates
You are already paying a considerable amount of commission rates for OTAs. Instead, you might consider offering discounts or gifts to your previous guests who recommend your hotel to their acquaintances. Decision-making is significantly shaped by recommendations of our acquaintances. If you encourage your repeat guests to recommend you, you could not only increase your direct sales but also maximize customer loyalty.
Use the optimum platform to help you achieve your goals
Managing online marketing and booking activities for your hotel on a single platform may well rank as your top priority. You should tap into a platform that helps you create and manage a website easily, while being provided with advanced options for your online marketing and SEO activities as well as secure and practical online booking methods.
How about the possibly high cost of such platform that offers you so many options on such an advanced platform? Actually, there is not such a cost. HotelRunner offers you all these features and more for quite budget friendly prices. And you can even start using HotelRunner now for free. Later on, you will only be supposed to pay as much as you use it.