Part one of series – How to up your game and beat OTAs
Nobody likes paying commission. We all like to get something for free. But and this is a big but, nothing in life comes for free.
Before you read on, please complete the following activity: Go to Expedia or Booking.com and book a room. You want to book 2 nights for next weekend for 2 adults and 1 child. You can only use your mobile phone.
You will need to answer the following questions before you book:
- Cost of the room and breakfast
- Cancellation terms and conditions
- Review score – is this property safe and fit for purpose
- Reception opening times and checkin procedure
- Parking – availability and cost
- Wifi – availability and cost
- What is included in the room, do I need to bring my own hairdryer?
Once you have all the details you need and before you enter a credit card, go to the hotel’s own website, and repeat the process. You need to gather the same information.
Now review the exercise:
- Which was easier to use, the OTA or the hotels own website?
- Where did I struggle and what did you find easy?
- Where would you book in future?
- Were the rates in parity?
- Could you find the hotels own website?
- What was your emotional reaction to each site?
The OTAs make it incredibly easy for customers to book and for us to compete, we need to up our game. Direct bookings are not free. If you want to increase your direct business, you need to work at it.
Was it easier to book through the OTA than your own Accom website?
In part two I will list some key areas you need to review when starting any form of book direct strategy.