Hotels,Think You're Cut Out For Doing Rate Parity in 2018?

By Bhanu Chopra CEO, RateGain | April 22, 2018

Rate Parity the most puzzling word in hospitality industry is a cause of stress for many hoteliers; first primarily because of the very fact that a third agency is involved in deciding the price of your own property even on your own website. Secondly, it restricts hotel's free pricing strategy, putting many restrictions on them. Not only this, even penalties for not adhering to them.

The concept of Rate Parity was introduced with the basic objective of protecting the integrity of hotel room rates across different online platforms and offering the guest a consistent experience of booking across all channels with respect to pricing. However, unfortunately things moved beyond this and under Rate Parity Agreements OTAs started restricting hotels from undercutting OTAs and offering discounted rates even on their own websites.

Popularity of OTAs with in the traveller community restricts hotels from un-listing their inventory from the popular OTA channels. OTAs after all have become a very important instrument in the entire online booking process because a major percentage of bookings done online come from OTAs.

Hence, hoteliers are left with no option, but to figure out ways to ensure that these restrictions and agreements under Rate Parity clause do not eat their hard-earned profits.

Few very common techniques to ensure you get a major chunk from your revenue is to get maximum direct bookings. Smart hoteliers use few tips to ensure this. These are shared below:

  • Make your brand website booking friendly
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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.