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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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. 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.