A common challenge that many independent hotels continually face is capturing direct bookings and preventing OTAs from not only taking away that potential revenue but also that relationship with the guest.
There’s no question that competitive pricing offered by OTAs have made it much more difficult for independent hotels to drive direct bookings on their website.
One study, however, has shown that 53% of rates are cheaper on a hotel’s website when compared to OTAs. Contrary to this study, travelers still have the assumption that rates are much lower on third party sites and therefore, immediately search on Expedia or Booking.com to make their reservations.
According to Tnooz, of the 1,000 travelers surveyed, 75% of them between the ages of 18 to 64 believe that the best hotel rates are found on a third party site. This is probably the case because of how these OTAs market themselves as having the best rates guaranteed.
Travelers who tend to book with OTAs are accustomed to the simplicity of the booking process and prefer the familiarity of the company name.
In order to recapture these traveler consumers, an effective marketing strategy needs to be put in place that incorporates these 3 marketing tactics.
The key here is to provide enough value to the consumer that would not allow the online visitors the option of booking elsewhere. Give users what they want at first glance and take the guessing work out of whether your hotel offers the best rate or not.
Having a strong online presence that appeals to users is just one part of the equation. Even more importantly, is the need to provide guests confidence they are making the right choice when it comes to booking direct with you over an OTA.
Here are 3 marketing tactics to implement immediately if you want to encourage travelers to book direct: