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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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.