Understanding where your marketing budget is best put to use is a challenge for any hospitality marketing professional. There is a plethora of marketing channels to pick from these days, each with its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. One thing is certain, though: you need to be present where your target customers are shopping, and these days, that means online travel agencies (OTAs).
Smaller properties may find it simpler to market themselves to a wider audience by partnering with OTAs due to the latter’s large customer base, robust global marketing, and substantial online presence. Online travel agencies (OTAs) are advantageous to hotels because they aggregate user reviews and photos, providing prospective guests with useful information before making a reservation.
There were 82.5 million room nights reserved on Expedia in Q2 2022. Expedia’s size and dominance in the OTA industry make it a vital platform for investment. Expedia TravelAds has been a successful product for reaching potential hotel guests and turning them into actual ones.
However, don’t reservations made straight with a hotel offer the best service?
Your property will benefit the most from guests who book directly with you. But in light of the rising competition for top-of-funnel search results, it would be counterproductive to your marketing strategy to ignore OTAs and the role they play.
To reiterate what we’ve already covered in our recent blog post on keyword strategy (link), OTAs tend to rank highest on page one of Google for highly competitive, broad location terms like “hotels in Denver.” When you consider OTAs not as separate entities but as specialised hotel and travel search engines, this makes perfect sense. It’s the place to go to find the best hotel at the best price with the amenities you want. By being present in this area, where decisions are being made, you can increase the likelihood that a guest will book with you, either immediately or at a later time. Many travellers use OTAs to begin their trip planning process before moving on to book a room directly with a hotel. Promoting your hotel on OTAs will not discourage direct bookings, but it will expose you to new guests.
So, while we at Vizergy have and will continue to advocate for tailoring your marketing campaigns to encourage direct bookings, we also know that leaving OTAs off the menu can cause you to miss fantastic opportunities to engage and convert your next guest!
Marketing Online with Vizergy®
Vizergy has provided innovative marketing tools, skilled staff, and first-rate service to the hospitality industry for over 20 years. From conversion-optimized website design to award-winning digital marketing programmes, reservation solutions, media planning, and execution, the company provides comprehensive travel life-cycle marketing solutions. Because of its user-friendliness, turnkey nature, and SMART technology, Vizergy’s platform has been hailed as the best digital marketing system for hotels. Vizergy’s primary goal and concentration is on marketing for the hospitality industry. Check out Vizergy.com for additional details.