Here’s another great guest post by the team at Mirai Espana, this time by Pablo Delgado and César López. This post examines how 3rd Party Retailers / OTAs capture business intended directly for hotels…and how to approach / fix the problem. Also evaluated is the value OTAs CAN add, i.e. via generic and destination level searches.
How Online Travel Agencies (OTA) or 3rd Party intermediaries get the customers that are searching for you on the web
PART 1: The problem
In Continental Europe, hotels with registered trademarks can prevent intermediaries from using their brand names in Google Adwords. Doing this means that more users end up on their own websites. In spite of the advantages, most independent hotels don’t take the necessary steps to benefit from it.
Did you think you were first in line? Others are cutting in front of you.
Your 1st place is barely visible
Must say that this approach is far superior to the standard OTA method…guessing Google’s dominance in the local search space combined with tons of great underlying data will make this an invaluable feature to the fast evolving Google Hotel Finder “experiment”!
There’s a lot of buzz in the industry about the new meta search engine launched by 6 hotel giants…there’s clearly a great value proposition here for hoteliers… but what about the customers? I still don’t see any clear differentiators that would have customers used to popular OTAs switch over to using this site (no packaging options and limited choice are just two simple hurdles).
Launching this new brand in a cluttered distribution space and competiting head-on with OTAs on search at sustainable / advantageous costs is another story altogether.
It’s still early days of course…but what do YOU think? “Hit” or “miss”?
An email Q & A with Expedia’s Alex Gisbert – We talk to Alex about the recent announcement about the Yahoo! – Expedia partnership that introduces Expedia’s travel booking & packaging engine on Yahoo! sites across Europe.
[Hotelemarketer.com] It’s great to hear about the recent partnership between Yahoo! and Expedia in Europe – could you tell us a little more about the deal and how this impacts the consumer in particular?
[Alex] Expedia is providing a travel booking engine on Yahoo! Travel sites across Europe (UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) in addition to a deals module which will be updated in real-time with the latest offers from Expedia.Through this deal, consumers will benefit from the rich editorial content provided by Yahoo! along with our sophisticated search technology and inventory of over 127 000 hotels and more than 450 airlines. We know that all travellers have very different priorities and these can change depending on the occasion, their schedule and their general travel preferences so we are constantly expanding the range of filters we offer so users can find exactly the right accommodation offering for them – in the last couple of months for example we have added both a green/sustainable hotel filter and an LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) friendly filter. The combined strength of the partnership brings users both inspiration of Yahoo!’s content and the ability to refine this choice according to their preferences and book with assurance that you are making the right choice by checking their choice with a variety of mapping options, reviews from previous Expedia customers and photos.
We understand that consumers use a variety of tools and sites when planning and researching their travel online and we want to make that process as simple as possible for travellers so we believe it’s important to work with sites like Yahoo! where we can offer relevant complementary services to save travellers time in their research. It’s very much about bringing our service to the user wherever they are to save them time. To take another example, earlier this year we launched a specialist IE8 travel browser with Microsoft in the UK offering the user ready access to a number of Expedia’s services such as hotel deals, lastminute deals, currency tracking and a co-branded weather tracking so that users can keep up to date with the latest deals, currency and weather changes whilst carrying on with their normal browsing activities.
Just finished attending and speaking at the Revenue Management and Pricing Middle East Conference, which was held at the Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi and organized by Eyefortravel. The turn out was decent…about 50–60 professionals from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, mostly Revenue Managers and some Sales & Marketing managers, General Managers and Owners. The crunch seems to have had its effect elsewhere though – a source from Europe claimed that a similar event there had a dismal turnout, as hoteliers scurry to cut costs.
Some good presentations, especially a couple that touched on the big picture, trends and also challenged participants to prep for the future. Total Revenue Management emerges as a clear winner in terms of what hotels SHOULD be doing to prepare and fully yield their products. Technology challenges still remain the biggest hurdle to successful revenue management, CRM and distribution. I enjoyed Sarah Allen’s presentation on Generation Y – particularly some of the changes that are happening which are impacting our human capital strategies, and how, as an industry, we need to shift our mindsets into a new way of doing business to keep ahead of the competition. Another good trend overview was provided by Margaret Bowler from HRG (Grabbing a hold of the corporate segment opportunity).