5 Fundamental Ways to Maximize Your Online Hotel Revenue Channels

By Gino Engels Co-Founder, OTA Insight | January 21, 2018

It’s a tough gig for today’s hoteliers. The current marketplace is crowded - not only with other accommodation providers, but online booking channels and metasearch sites, too, all vying for the coveted traveler’s dollar. In such a chaotic landscape, hoteliers need to maintain a balancing act when managing their online channels, pulling all of the right levers to fill their rooms - and profitably.

Some say that the internet levels the playing field - and while it certainly can, success doesn’t come easily - it has to be earned. Without a clear understanding of that playing field, you’ll fall short. Here are the five fundamental ways to maximize your revenue opportunities and come out on top. 

1. Understand The Changing Dynamic of the Market  

The travel distribution market is constantly evolving. If you fail to keep your ear to the ground, it’s easy to fall behind. Some recent developments that may need to be considered include:

  • The rise of Airbnb, and what hoteliers are doing about it. With a supply of more than 3 million listings, Airbnb has more available "rooms" than any hotel chain in the world. This signals a change in what travelers want - and some hotels are rising to meet the challenge by entering the short-term residential rental business (eg. Hyatt’s agreement with The Oasis Collection, which allows travelers to book "handpicked" homes that meet hotel standards).
  • The growth of metasearch engines. More and more travellers are favoring metasearch sites to research hotels, simply because of the premise that they are meant to seek out the best rates, crawling the web for all available accommodation. Metasearch sites spend big dollars on advertising - dollars that you simply can’t match on your own - this means that you benefit from more exposure. For example, Trivago is growing its share within the market by making large advertising investments on TV and on the London tube. TripAdvisor has understood how travelers are engaging with their site on mobile, and are investing in adapting accordingly. You can control how you appear on these metasearch sites by taking ownership of your hotel profile, your presence on these channels, and most importantly your rates.
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Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.