OTAs Charging Commissions on Resort Fees: What Resorts Can Do
Booking.com recently announced that they will begin charging commissions for fee-based services, such as resort fees, to all U.S. hotels.
NB: This is an article from vizlly
Leslie Cafferty, a spokesperson from Booking.com, said that they wanted to “provide [their] customers with transparent information” because resort fees are not always represented on their site.
In the past, resorts used fixed fees as a way to offset the commission charged by OTAs on room bookings. Booking.com’s introduction of the extra commission charge and the possibility of other large OTAs like Expedia possibly following suit, makes it more important than ever for hotels to have a direct booking strategy. Otherwise, resorts will lose revenue on any bookings made on an OTA.
Are Resort Fees ACTUALLY A DETERRENT TO TRAVEL CONSUMERS?
In the media, resort fees are characterized as hidden fees charged to unknowing hotel guests on top of their room rate. However, research shows that travel consumers are, more often than not, willing to pay the additional cost for the extra amenities and services offered at these resorts.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) found that 80% of travelers are willing to pay resort fees as long as the price is justified, resulting in a 90% average customer satisfaction rate across resort hotels. Justified fees may include services and amenities such as pools and gymnasiums with more equipment, shuttle busses, high-speed internet, unlimited local and international phone calls, in-room safes and refrigerators, and free parking. AHLA further clarifies this by revealing that 57% of consumers find the lumping together of fees and taxes misleading, hidden, and shady, not the resort fees themselves.
How Can Hotels MAINTAIN THEIR REVENUE STREAM?
A 2014 study by Susan J. Roe from the San Francisco University and Toni Repetti from the William F. Harrah College Hotel of Administration revealed that 70.2% of guests were aware of resort fees before their check-ins because the information was displayed on the hotel websites.
Thus, an effective hotel website will show travel consumers exactly how resort fees will fund their experience. AHLA’s research supports this method of display; the association found that 70% of consumers prefer the resort fee to be separate because they can better understand where their money is going.
Transparency will allow hotels to maintain their revenue stream by getting direct bookings on their website. Shifting bookings away from the OTAs to a vanity hotel website is a sound strategy to protect against the rising commissions OTAs are charging.
Using a trusted partner to create your hotel website will ensure that travel consumers get the information they need in order to make their bookings directly. Our skilled team should tailor your resort website to showcase the extra amenities and services your hotel offers and implement SEO techniques so that travel shoppers will find transparent information on your costs.