20 Oct 5 advantages of working with OTAs
From hotels we’re in daily contact with, they transmit us the feeling that OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) are one of their main problems. They tell us that these OTAs generate so many reservations and that supposes to them lots of money on commissions.
At Asiri we believe that this kind of intermediaries is one more player of the game we’re all in at Tourism commerce. The hotelier is the one who decides how these intermediaries are going to play, so it’s in their power to make the move according to his strategy (if he’s having one).
And so we come to the main problem we deal in many hotels: the lacking of a defined strategy.
We give you 5 examples of how useful can these online intermediaries be to your hotels:
- Reservation making on low occupancy periods. All of us know that there are certain days that we would sell less rooms if it weren’t for the OTAs. We do pay commissions, but we also get a benefit, so as the possibility of earning loyalty from a client that may not arrive if wasn’t through the OTAs.
- Visibility on search engines. What we don’t invest on Paid advertisement on Google, Booking.com does. In occasions we must see this OTA’s commission as an investment on advertising. They put our hotels in top places on Google. What if we use this “pole position” to take them to our own web site so they can make on it a final reservation?
- Online reputation. OTAs give the clients the possibility of making comments of our establishments, moreover, they allow us to see those comments and answer those in lots of these OTAs. Thanks to it we have an opportunity of defending our businesses and generating empathy with our clients. Shall we bet on answering and improving, or shall we stay complaining and looking ourselves to our belly?
- Management of incidents with clients. Sometimes, the OTAs play the role of intermediaries with clients when they have a problem with their reservations or in the staying at the hotels. The OTAs contact the hotel attendants and give them the opportunity to manage these incidents. They collaborate in some way so the client stays satisfied. We have one more opportunity to develop loyalty with a client that arrives via OTA. Don’t miss it!
- Reservation payment warranty. Almost any OTA gives us a credit card that secures reservations made. There are some that are not valid and we must manage in the most efficient way in order to avoid problems of uncharged “no shows” or unnecessary overbookings. The ball is on our side and it will be our problem if we’re not capable of establishing procedures so these reservations get to fruition.
As you know, in the Tourism sector we’re forced to adapt ourselves to changes that come from several areas (political, technological, environmental, social, etc.) every day. The success of our hotels and destinations will be greater or lesser depending of our ability to adapt to those changes. That’s why, we must, being forced to play in this game called Tourism with so many players, go and make part of it, doing it properly.