In today’s fast paced world, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Expedia, Booking.com and Make My Trip to name a few, massively influence the way travellers make hotel reservations. These online channels offer many benefits to travel bookers. They can bundle hotel rooms with rental cars and airfares. In addition, they are able to see rates, photos, descriptions and read reviews before booking at the best available prices.
So how important is it then for your hotel to get to the top of the OTA listings to get more bookings? And what actions can a hotel pro-actively take to get to the top? With so many options for every destination, very few online bookers scroll through every hotel.
[pullquote]How important are OTAs to your hotel?[/pullquote]
While being at the top of an OTA list for a destination does not necessarily mean success, it does have a role to play.
So what are the secrets to climbing the ranks? Here are 5 key strategies that can rank your hotel to the top on Online Travel Agencies.
Make friends with Market Managers – The market managers can be a wealth of information and can be really helpful in planning your online strategies. Make sure to keep open lines of communication with your market managers since they are going to be consistently aware of booking patterns and trends within your market. They can be quite a help in navigating all the different OTA opportunities and in finding which strategies will work best for your campaign. Click Here
Use professional photography and good descriptions – Guests want to see exactly what they are getting when they book a room online. Highlight the hotel’s exterior, public spaces, dining facilities, meeting rooms, guestrooms and bathrooms when shooting videos and developing virtual tours. Invest in a good photography service, ensuring meticulous preparation and carrying out to testing to see which ones attract more attention and further stimulate the booking decision.
Build and Manage Online Reviews – Every day, millions of people check hotel reviews that are posted on Trip Advisor and OTAs before finalising their hotel. Reviews are a barometer that hoteliers can use to identify the things they are doing well and areas where they need to do better. Obviously, the greater number of positive reviews that readers see on OTAs will bode well for your rankings.
Regular Content Update – Search engines reward fresh content. Guests look for timely information. Therefore, making regular updates on OTAs with special offers, information about local attractions, events and hotel details will ensure that your hotel comes up on top.
Open up Availability – By having open availability and rate parity, you will achieve a high user experience for travellers looking to book and market managers will be more willing to strategize and work with you to achieve your goals.