During a recent webinar, we discussed how to navigate the changing online distribution landscape with three industry experts from OTA Insight and Travel Tripper.
Topics included how to harness the power of metasearch, optimizing your website for conversions, and planning your distribution strategy around both current and predicted future booking trends.
Navigating the changing online distribution landscape
The current online distribution space has become extremely challenging. With a proliferation of OTAs and metasearch platforms, how can you use these channels in the right way for the right purpose? And how should they fit in with your own direct channel?
One thing is certain: it’s no longer enough to activate these channels to simply try and fill rooms. It’s now vital to use each channel in a way that fills rooms in a way that maximizes profit.
In order to decide which channel is right for your hotel, it’s first important to look at the way OTAs, metasearch, and hotel websites compare in the modern booking landscape.
Diving into the data
A recent poll by Phocuswright asked travelers from the US, Europe, Australia, China and Brazil which website or apps they used to shop for accommodation and hotels. The graphic below illustrates that broadly, OTAs and metasearch platforms are dominating.
However, there are some regional variations worth paying attention to. For instance, 72% of US travelers use OTAs, but 44% also look at hotel websites when they’re researching. This means that at the very least, there’s every reason to have your pricing in order to capitalize on this considerable level of attention.
In China, 91% of travelers use OTAs, but 37% also research on hotel websites. So if you know you have a strong Chinese customer base, it’s clearly worth translating your website and providing culturally appealing content.
What this study reveals is how vital it is to keep track of who’s engaging with your site in order to capture their attention and incentivize bookings.