6 Ways to Entice Travelers to Book Direct (Without Conflicting with Your OTA)
As we all know, Expedia, Priceline, Hotwire and other online travel agencies (OTAs) are extremely valuable resources for keeping rooms filled. But how do hotel operators keep them from cannibalizing business from customers that might have booked direct in the first place? This is one question I hear all of the time from companies that call me for advice on hotel automation systems.
Most OTA agreements require that hotel operators not advertise room rates for lower than what is listed on their websites. Fortunately, we worked with several hotel management and marketing experts to discover five ways hotel operators can bring customers back to booking direct, without conflicting with their OTA. Here’s a summary of each:
1: Offer Deals to a Limited Audience
Parity agreements prevent hotels from offering discounts publicly. However, this restriction doesn’t apply to those offers hotels distribute to a limited audience.
Action: You can send a discount code to your Facebook fans, for example, or to customers who’ve opted into your email list.