How to up your game and beat OTAs

Book Direct is NOT Free

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 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:

  1. Cost of the room and breakfast
  2. Cancellation terms and conditions
  3. Review score – is this property safe and fit for purpose
  4. Reception opening times and checkin procedure
  5. Parking – availability and cost
  6. Wifi – availability and cost
  7. 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:

  1. Which was easier to use, the OTA or the hotels own website?
  2. Where did I struggle and what did you find easy?
  3. Where would you book in future?
  4. Were the rates in parity?
  5. Could you find the hotels own website?
  6. 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.

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In part two I will list some key areas you need to review when starting any form of book direct strategy.

Tamie Matthews

Having spent a lifetime working in 3 to 5-star branded properties around the world, Tamie’s passion is helping hoteliers across Asia Pacific upskill their knowledge, understanding and skills in revenue management and distribution.Tamie and the team at RevenYou manage rates and distribution for a variety of properties all around the country, so we know tourism and work in it daily. As we work with industry insiders daily, we’re always up to date on the issues facing the industry, which allows us a unique opportunity to develop training sessions tailored to the people managing properties, based on the latest best practice. Your members learn from our team's collective experience and expertise.Tamie is solutions driven and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and practical experience in how to increase profit margins by using what is available for free or at very little cost. She trained as a teacher at University, therefore attendees will be interested and engaged, ensuring learning outcomes are met.Tamie is a seasoned presenter to hotels, tourism associations, RTO's and councils, presented at the VTIC Conference in 2019 and regularly conducts training with HSMAI.At RevenYou, we work with independent properties across Australia and NZ in the areas of revenue, distribution, sales, and marketing. Our properties are all just like yours.

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