The online travel industry has had a rapid growth in the last few years. With every industry shifting their focus to the online space, online travel agencies (OTAs) were bound to grow. Hotel and resort bookings are among their largest market shares.
Adapt and model OTAs success formulas
The world of travel and hospitality has entered a new era of growth and transformation. Global business travel spending is not hitting record-breaking numbers.
And in the United States, there is a renewed consumer confidence, along with a shift in household spending from goods to services and experiences.
Some of the shifts we saw in 2016 and 2017 have been impacted by shifts in the global economy, geopolitical turmoil, natural disasters, game-changing innovations and rising consumer demands driven by Social Media is reshaping the travel landscape.
Although there have been a lot of friction between hoteliers and OTAs on commission levels and paid search conflicts, OTAs seem to have the final advantage. Hotels have now realized that it’s almost impossible to ignore OTAs and are also starting to get a taste of premium positioning, valuable industry insights and other perks that come with the OTA partnership.
Hotels need to learn how to adapt to new market shifts and start model some of OTAs content marketing strategies.
OTA’s vs Hotels: The Age Old Battle Over Online Bookings [Infographic]
While OTAs and Hotels seem at odds with each other, they both have one important thing in common: their dedication to the customer— or more specifically the guest.
Regarding online booking, there are important and striking differences between how the two cater to the guest— which has resulted in OTAs seemingly dominated the online booking market.
Special thanks to my friends at MicroMetrics for great insight and data with the Infographic here.
The Customer Experience will lead the way
Most trends today point towards the customer experience. For many consumers, Online Travel Agencies and the Hotel Industry, in general, has reached a saturation point. And consumers are starting to look more at alternative solutions like Airbnb and HomeAway.
This should indicate to Hotels that they now really need to look at how they can stand out as a relevant alternative in a new market.
Big Data and Technology to the rescue
Consumer data and information has never been more accessible than today. And new technology and innovation have made it easier for Hotels to stay on top of this without having to break the bank.
Collaborate and reach out to Influencers
Customers are a creature of Habits. The Hotel options available has to meet basic needs like location, amenities, price, availability all in one place.
Customers also prefer information that will add value to their experience. This is also one reason why many customers will check Hotel reviews before a booking decision is made.
The solution for Hotels lays in focusing on alternatives. Hotels have the knowledge and experience to create awareness for pricing, location, brand name, loyalty program, reviews and the customer experience.
With New Media and Social Media customers has more access to information that will influence their booking process. The customer wants to know that their opinions and decisions matters.
OTA’s has for years understood that the power lays in their communities. They collaborate with traveling mom’s and high profiled travelers that have shared their stories where the primary focus was the customer experience.
The customer experience is what turns the consumer into loyal customers. Once OTA’s have sold the consumer one experience they keep providing them with similar alternative experiences.
The Hotel Content Funnel – a dynamic process
I work on content strategies that support The Hotel Content Funnel. This is an ongoing dynamic process where data, information, and innovation will reach the relevant consumers for a given Hotel.
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Learn how to nurture your influencers and the Community.
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