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
A great guest post by Piotr Majdan from Mirai Espana, that takes a deeper look at the performance of TripAdvisor PPC (not to be confused with Business LIstings) activity. Piotr had also published a case study on the ROI of TripAdvisor Business Listings as while back. These conclusions were derived by Mirai after investing €27,000 with 58 hotels:
Your direct rates, your hotel’s website rates, can now appear on Tripadvisor dealing face to face with intermediaries such as booking.com and expedia.com. Should you join this program? What can you expect regarding the required investments and the return you will obtain? Does this return affect your hotel’s position within your city’s ranking? After a comprehensive three-month study, we have got answers.
Tripadvisor’s CPC (Cost per Click) program will generate new bookings in most of the hotels’ websites, mainly for the best rated hotels, but it is not predictable when it comes to cost and can generally be expensive “commission wise”.
In any case, “high” commission is a relative concept and should always be compared with the margin you get through intermediary sites (IDS) or classical tour operators . It still might be worth it for many hotels. Here is how we got to this conclusion.
In May 2010, Mirai pioneered the testing of the Tripadvisor Business Listing. Once again, we are the first ones to explore the new opportunity given by Tripadvisor – their CPC program. The difference between them is that the former is based on a fixed fee and the cost of the latter is variable depending on the traffic.
Other companies on the market offer this service (sometimes with a set-up fee or monthly fixed payment) directly to their clients promising new bookings. Before doing so, we at Mirai, have conducted a test to check the return you can expect by participating in this program. We invested €27,000 in 58 of our clients and analysed the results.
So what is the CPC program and how does it differ from Business Listing?
Business Listing allows you to add a link to your website, as well as the contact information (Blue).
In search of…simplification! An introduction to Search Engine Marketing for Hotel General Managers and Directors of Sales & Marketing
Search Engine Marketing has been a hot topic for quite a while now and there have been a plethora of articles written on the subject, ranging from the tediously academic to those hailing Search Engines to be the be-all and end-all when it comes to selling online. But there still seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding the true value of Search Engines in the hotel industry, especially in the Middle East, and just what hoteliers can do to stay ahead of the curve. This article is an attempt to de-mystify and present the big ‘Search’ picture.