Debate in the industry suggests some OTAs are reluctant to share their data with hotel partners, a claim that surprised Krishan Kadodwala, the Expedia group area manager for UK and Ireland. Here he explains that far from withholding data, OTAs are using it to help hotels build revenues.
When Hayley Colley, group sales manager at Future Inns UK, wanted to target guests who book accommodation further out, she naturally sought booking window data on which to base her marketing strategy.
She said they had noticed a trend for more people booking well in advance of their stays, and wanted to capitalise on it by targeting the countries from which they were coming, while at the same time identifying similar trends in other countries and regions.
Future Inns UK had its own data to draw on, but couldn’t match the breadth and depth of that provided by an OTA, so they asked us to provide it. They then used the data to develop a targeted marketing campaign that has seen a rise in the number of our guests who book further out.
That is just one of several examples of data sharing that had a direct and positive impact on partner hotels.
OTAs should view themselves as consultants – specialist advisers – armed with powerful data that hotels, whether chains or boutique, large or small, can deploy in lots of ways to build and grow their businesses.
The data flow is primarily from OTA to partner hotel, but increasingly hotels are proactively requesting data, usually when they have a marketing strategy planned and need more insight to help put it into action.
When the Lake District Hotels Association (LDHA), wanted help to boost demand for hoteliers after they were hit by flooding, it was important to be able to share data with them in a collaborative, consultative way.