For accommodation businesses such as Hotels, B&B, Guest Houses, Serviced Apartments and Self-catering accommodation, there are pros and cons in using OTAs to sell their room nights. OTAs consist of online accommodation booking sites like Booking.com, AirBnB.com, and Expedia.com. These OTAs hold a massive record of hotels in several categories globally. These OTA websites are easy to exercise, integrated maps and pictures of the hotels, and on top of that, their charges are commonly competitive.
Accommodation providers and Online Travel Agencies:
Twenty years ago, there were no OTAs, and hotels were dependent on different parties like tour machinists and travel agents for getting bookings. Flight booking was the first to digitize an automated booking system available to travel agents by the late 70s. Hotels were different; people had a clear preference for the hotel chain, often phoned directly to check availability and valued the personal touch for their hospitality needs. Travelocity is the first online travel agency launched in 1996, and Expedia followed hotels and chased hotels for access to their inventories, offering a small commission of 10 percent. Hotels agreed as most of them did not have the websites, and this was their chance to occupy the vacant room, but once the traveler discovered online booking, they did not go back.
Today hotels run an unofficial war against OTAs, which was a convenient way to make their room discoverable transformed into a real threat. Massive commissions cause accommodation providers to hesitate to rely on online travel agencies; 15-30 percent commissions are too much to them. OTAs bookings have turned out to be a staple instead of a compliment. Several properties rely on them for their industry. Above all, increased fees and commissions have stiffened the stronghold. Hotels have discovered themselves handcuffed in a phase of reliance as OTAs get boosted. Administrators and stockholders are keen to direct more of their bookings and state more of the real profit for the hotel services and facilities they make available, however, and it is a hard battle.
Accommodation Providers versus Online Travel Agencies:
You have frequently heard that accommodation providers nag regarding Booking.com, Expedia, and many other online travel agencies. However, as they struggle to sell their hotel rooms without them, they undergo the ache of paying the high OTAs’ commission price. Serviced Accommodation feels a sense of trapped in this affiliation, which they do not like, but they even cannot exist without it.
The nuanced relationship between hotels and online travel agencies dictates the hospitality industry’s present and future. Overall, these relationships are based on both mutual support and competition. Still, one party is eager to change that here is what is happening behind the scenes of the invisible battle over the hospitality market.
Contractor and Tradesmen Accommodation:
Travelling as a contractor or tradesman is a tough job; you would like a spacious, clean, and comfortable space. such as Serviced Apartments and Self-catering accommodations to provide a comfortable home-like place to relax and recuperate their energy at the end of the day. Contractors or Tradesmen live distant from their home for their work. Mostly these contractors or tradesmen avoid online travel agencies and directly inquire in the hotels. The hotels often have special discounts and cash backs for employees and tradespeople.
They don’t have to pay online booking sites commissions that are somewhat between 15-25 percent from directly booking the hotels. You can often get a deal and exclusive amenities from direct booking a hotel, which you may not acquire if you book through hotels, as the hotels have to pay commission to these OTAs. These tradesmen and contractors directly book the hotel to get more exclusive deals and offers from the hotel that they do not receive through online travel agencies. Also, they don’t have to worry about the last-minute cancellation.
How accommodation providers can increase direct bookings:
Some of the biggest hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott have started investing in a campaign to bring back market share. These campaigns ensure the traveler that they would receive loyalty and benefits from the hotels. Below are the few tips that help hotel for getting direct booking-
- Loyalty Program: Make sure when a customer visits your website, they must enroll for the lower prices on direct booking and best perks. In 2017 Marriott’s rewarded for the best loyalty program by Smarter Traveler.
- Work with Travel Agents: Travel agents associate with hospitality providers. They prefer their clientele hotels that go with their requirements regarding locality, amenities, fees, and more. Several hotels offer their travel agent partners the chance to reserve guests at loyalty program charges, raising the benefits these agents propose to their clients, moreover, the volume of non-OTA bookings to the hotel.
- Reviews and client-generated content: One of the reasons travelers go with OTAs is that they provide many user reviews on their websites. By incorporating reviews and customer-generated content, for instance, pictures directly on their websites, hotels can reduce the chances of guests returning to the OTAs to settle their booking.
- Highlight Hotels Experience: Take care that your homepage recommends insight into the “experience” you put forward. Huge brands with large hotels and global reach should depict the experiences they propose across their brand hotels. At the same time, minor hotels can showcase their individuality on their pages.
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