Why is OTA Management, Pricing & Yield Management so Important?
I'll shock you with this statement: OTAs like Expedia and Booking.com and meta search engines like Kayak or Tripadvisor tripconnect can be a great marketing channel for your property.
The only problem with OTAs is that most property's don't use them properly. You are in the driver's seat. OTAs are a marketing channel. Use them to fill rooms you can't fill yourself, but don't let them fill rooms you could have booked directly. Too many innkeepers don't properly manage their OTA and rate strategy to drive direct bookings.
Here are 3 Big Mistakes Innkeepers Make with OTAs
To avoid those mistakes, there are a couple steps you can take to manage your OTA inventory and manage your rates to drive direct bookings.
OTAs Can Help You Drive Direct Bookings
OTAs can actually help you drive direct bookings. OTAs have a big reach and massive advertising and SEO budgets and attract a lot of website visitors looking to book accommodations.
Turn OTA Marketing into Direct Bookings
Recall the "Billboard Effect" that we talked about in "SEO for Bookings"? Studies show that 50% of travelers who find your property on an OTA will then turn to search engines and try to visit your website directly. This is your opportunity to use the OTA as a marketing channel and seize those direct bookings. Improve your chances with an OTA management strategy.
Turn an OTA Guest into a Future Direct Booking
Even if the guest does book through an OTA, if you've been following the roadmap you've got an email newsletter you can sign them up for, and maybe even a repeat guest discount you can extend to the guest to get them to book direct in the future.
Now, some properties can do just great without OTAs. The point of the Odysys Academy/Marketing Roadmap is to put your property in position to capture as many direct bookings as possible with or without OTAs. If you need to use OTAs, then it is all the more critical that you have a strategy.
How to Have Your Way with OTAs - OTA Management Strategy
Odysys turns to the subject matter experts at ThinkReservations to explain how innkeepers can properly develop an OTA management strategy along with understanding their options for rate management and yielding rates to be more profitable.
We highly recommend these two resources from ThinkReservations for developing your OTA strategy:
- Webinar on Demand: Have Your Way with the OTAs: Finding Your Happily Ever After - this webinar is just one of several that walks innkeepers through how they can develop a rate and OTA management strategy.
- Listen: Game of OTAs - This is an Interview we did with ThinkReservations about this subject.
- Review the content provided in this article
- Work with your PMS (booking engine) or channel manager to implement an improved OTA and yield management strategy
- Measure the improvement in occupancy and revenue and adjust