2 Secrets to Beat Online Travel Agencies.
Online travel agencies are increasing their profits and and their shares in hotels revenues, not because they have those massive capabilities that can’t be defeated, but because hotels and accommodation providers are still not doing enough work to conquer them . Online travel agencies are even more laser focused than hotels and most accommodation providers.
In this blog I will mention 2 secrets out of 6 to beat online travel agencies that I figured out after close monitoring and thorough research for hotels and online travel agencies actions towards each other and also towards other matters like their websites , issues and challenges they encounter and how they react to solve them…
The two secrets are : –
The First Secret is : The Hotels’ Websites.
After going through several reputed and not reputed hotel websites still they are considered to be weak websites regarding the messages they communicate to visitors. We all know that most of the people who try to book via OTAs websites before completing the booking process they visit the hotel website to finalize their decision.From this point it is every hotel’s responsibility to grab the traveler attention to book directly through your hotel website instead of the OTA.
What messages are you providing on your hotel website that will lead the traveler to book? It’s not enough just to provide high quality images or to place tripadvisor rating or positive customers’ reviews. Yes these are somehow important in the decision making process of the traveler but yet they are not enough to drive them to book directly and some of them are already there on the OTAs websites. So you as a hotelier still have to rely on them to increase your sales. Neither it’s enough to provide 20% off on booking directly and by being a member of a loyalty program like Wyndham Hotels. They are doing good but I prefer if they would change the message location on their site and to restructure the message itself.
What I advise hotels is to redesign their hotel websites to contain certain messages at specific locations on their sites that would attract the visitor attention and would entice the visitor to take action. I will provide with only two messages that will make a big difference in your conversion rates , and these are :
A- Locate a message at the UPPER-Center of your hotel website that communicates the idea of any room on OTA book it directly from here and you will get like 13% off, or 7% plus an upgrade.Simplify and make your message very clear to everyone .
Because just saying book directly or book now isn’t doing good enough and people don’t trust why they should book directly not via OTAs who are massively doing excellent in their marketing strategies.
B- Locate this message under the first one; Bring us any offer or package and we will give you a better one either through better price or amenities, or by upgrading , free trips or gifts…. or both…Just be creative so you can beat other OTAs here and other loyalty programs. ( rewrite the message in different wordings but I am giving you the core idea here.).
The Second Secret is : Guests who come to your hotel via OTAs should be pampered and treated in an unexpected way that would make them your directly booked and repeated customers . And you can do that when you know about them more by monitoring their social media channels and get to know their preferences , interests and any specific occasions or any events that happened lately in their lives and act upon that. Surprise them . You can do that by using tools like
Local Measure and Full Contact.
Beating Online travel agencies are not easy but not hard and not complicated. Beating them needs strategic smart meticulous actions to be set on. You as a hotelier or as a accommodation provider you have to rethink your actions and strategies to decrease your rely on OTAs in order to increase your sales. You are increasing them but also increasing OTAs shares in your profits….!
Remember you can always consult me at any time about your hotel or business .You are more than welcome . Let me share you your Success story.
Skype Dr.Salam Amin.
Please after you read my blog please leave a comment.I will be delighted to hear from you.