Using a Social Approach to Acquire Direct Bookings | Technology for Middle East Hotels |

A few weeks ago, my colleague participated in an HSMAI event in Bangkok, Thailand. One of the general sessions focused on the increasing role of online travel agencies (OTAs) and questioned whether the hotels have lost revenue due to their own reliance on the channel. The message seemed to be that when used wisely, OTAs are a great vehicle for selling extra inventory. Nevertheless, many revenue managers continue to be too heavily dependent on the channel, providing inventory even during times of expected high occupancy.

This trend, of course, is nothing new to hoteliers. As we wrote last year, the commissions paid to OTAs are often viewed as just “the cost of doing business” and have been an industry norm for years. In our post, we discussed several ideas to consider when trying to convert more business on your site directly. From integrating social media on your hotel site to ensuring rate parity and offering consumers an added incentive, hotels can deploy a number of tactics in order to shift some of the bookings share away from the OTAs.

Via Roland Schegg