How to Reduce Hotel Booking Commissions Paid to OTAs

booking-commissionsIt is widely known that professional hotel booking management is one of the most important foundations of the hotel business.

Today hotels are using a variety of channels to receive their bookings, most of which are made through online booking channels or OTAs such as Expedia.com and Booking.com.

The commissions paid to OTAs are quite high and make a considerable part of a hotel budget. Luckily, there are a few ways to reduce the commissions paid to online booking channels.

Consider the following tips if you want to receive more direct bookings and cut your costs.

 Increase direct hotel reservations through your website

It is widely known that online bookings are mainly done through online booking channels. Moreover, recently the market positions of OTAs became so strong that now they are ones of the major players in hospitality market.

High commission fees, complicated cancellation policies, parity rates and other reasons force hotels to find alternative distribution channels. In this context, in order to overcome these difficulties, the website of a hotel should become the primary booking channel.

All you need is to install a booking engine to your website, and it will become a professional reservation tool, which has at least two key advantages over OTAs.

  1. monthly fee paid to the booking form supplier is less than the one paid to OTAs.
  2. customers who have booked their stay through the hotel website, become more loyal.

If you want to know how to increase your website direct reservations, please click here.

 Make special offers on your website

You have to continue using the OTAs, but reward those clients who make a reservation through your website. You can offer value deals for following you on Facebook or Twitter and for early booking. It will help you to increase your website traffic and promote loyalty among your clients.

Besides, creating custom packages that are only available on your website will increase the number of direct reservations. This way, if prospective guests wish to benefit from these packages, they will have to make a reservation through your website, not the OTAs.

 Create a mobile responsive website

Almost everybody is using a smart phone nowadays; people do many things on the go, which makes it highly important to have your website adapted to mobile phones. According to Google a mobile responsive website is the best mobile practice. It is built on one code base and is automatically optimizable to various screen sizes. Moreover, customers will be able to book their stays online from any device that supports Internet connection.

 Be active in social media

Social networks is another tool that, when properly used, will lead your hospitality business to success. Facebook is a perfect place for that: you will be able to build a loyal audience by offering exclusive deals, posting relevant information and driving traffic to your website. By the way,  the followers of the official Facebook page of  HotelBuzz benefit from daily updates about hospitality and digital marketing. Join us here!

To sum up, reducing the booking commissions paid to online booking channels can be done by increasing the direct bookings through the hotel website. To do so you will need a modern and user friendly booking engine, a mobile version of your website, special deals and offers distributed through social networks or the website itself.

 From theory to practice

These were the main tips that will help your hotel reduce the booking commissions paid to OTAs. It would be a good idea to incorporate them into your marketing plan. At this moment you have to think of how to bring theoretical knowledge into practice. But don’t worry: HotelBuzz is here for you with our 3 steps process:

  • Gain online visibility

Get more traffic to your website: it is impossible to sell something when nobody sees it.

  • Convert traffic into leads and hotel bookings

Create an easy to navigate, user friendly mobile responsive website, display attractive offers and calls to actions on your landing page.

  • Get more happy customers

Be active and responsive on Tripadvisor and in other hospitality related channels, draw conclusions from what guests write about your hotel and adapt your business strategy according to the lessons learned.

You can find detailed information on each step on our home page and solutions page. HotelBuzz will help you develop the best online marketing strategy and achieve visible results!

Download here the eBook:
Digital marketing & E-commerce for hotels

Photo credit: VinothCha ndar via photopincc  

"SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG"
Receive an update straight to your inbox every time I publish a new article. Your email address will never be shared