Every hotelier is aware about the needs and benefits of connecting their hotel to OTAs. But, how does a hotel owner select the best OTA in the hotel industry? That is a big question, indeed!
What does OTA stands for in the hotel industry? These are online travel agencies (OTAs) that help you connect your hotel property or chain of hotels to a global audience, driving more bookings and revenue online.
If you’re thinking how to choose the right OTA, here’s what you should consider to get better results for your hotel property.
There are many benefits of choosing OTAs. Every OTA has its own customer base and market reach. This makes it extremely important for you to understand the geographic and demographic reach these OTAs are going to give you.
Some OTAs in the hotel industry attract leisure travellers and others may attract business travellers. Similarly, their performance may vary for different types of properties like, hotel, hostels, B&Bs and guest houses.
Clearly define your target customers and the market in which you want to tap right in and identify the OTAs that can help you in doing so. This is important to choose the right OTA in the hotel industry.
Once you have identified the best OTAs for hotels with the right target market and customer-base suitable for your property, it’s time to look for the cost i.e the commission each OTA will charge against every booking.
You need to do your own calculations to arrive to a conclusion. What’s going to be the true cost of booking for your guests if you add up the OTA commision with your room rates? Will this pricing be competitive along with other hotel properties vying for the same target group? Or, Will it be beneficial if you reduce the room rates (your share on each booking) with around 100% occupancy through OTAs?
Knowing the answers to these questions are a must before you opt for OTA hotel bookings. The benefits of choosing OTAs are many, if you opt right.
You need to ensure the OTAs you’re going to choose have a proven track record for a similar property-type such as yours.
Check the portfolio of the shortlisted OTAs to see the top-notch properties of your category. If possible, get in touch with them to understand the performance of these OTAs.
If you’re already using OTAs for your hotel, refer to your hotel property management system (PMS) report which shows you the life-time value of guests through the OTA channels.
Another factor you should consider while choosing the right OTAs for your hotel is the connectivity and performance with a Channel Manager and Hotel Management System.
Connectivity between the OTAs, Channel Manager and your Hotel Management System is absolutely important for smooth hotel operations. Inventory and rates distribution over multiple OTAs should be a hassle-free exercise and bookings through OTAs should be automatically updated in the hotel frontdesk.
A smart Hotel Management System like Hotelogix provides a two-way connectivity with a Channel Manager to help you distribute and manage the inventory and rates across all the best OTAs for your hotel.
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