Best Practices for Driving Direct Bookings
The commissions paid to Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are often viewed as just “the cost of doing business” in the hospitality industry. According to a recent L2 report, hotels forfeited $2.5 Billion to OTAs in 2010 which begs the question- are there ways to limit this expense? In the Facebook Factor I talked about how fans and advocates are more likely to book directly with hotels. This can reduce the influence of review sites and the commissions paid to OTAs such as Travelocity and Expedia. How can savvy hotels increase this phenomenon? How can hoteliers use social media and enhanced technology to incentivize customers to book directly? In a slowly rebounding economy the cost savings between direct bookings ($2 to $6) and OTA bookings ($40 to $120) can mean the difference between thriving and simply surviving.