This month the CEOs from Priceline and Expedia attempted to dissuade hoteliers from efforts to drive direct bookings. In specific circumstances they may have a point. Newly-opened hotels, for example, can get to break-even more quickly by focussing on OTA-led distribution in year one.
But in general, hoteliers guffaw at the OTA protestations. 2016 is the year of the Direct Bookings. Hotels across the globe have set 'driving direct bookings' as their key strategic goal. Why? Here are eight reasons why hotels are fighting for more direct bookings:
1. Direct relationships
Hospitality is a people business. Inserting third-parties between two humans is rarely the best way to improve communications or understanding. 18 months ago Booking.com announced that it would no longer pass guest details and email addresses to hotels. That kind of relationship-blocker reduces a hotel's ability to know, understand and serve their customers.
For guests on vacation, the research is clear - they get more additional 'happiness' in the run up to your trip than in the trip itself. Building anticipation pre-travel adds value to any hotel stay. This is one reason why hotels have improved pre-stay messaging. Direct relationships make this possible.
3. Brand value
In return for services and bookings, real estate owners pay annual fees to hotel brands. These contracts are under pressure if the brands are disintermediated and fail to deliver significant direct bookings. The power of OTAs and importance of Tripadvisor reviews could drive owners towards an unbranded future.
See full article at http://www.triptease.com/8-reasons-why-direct-bookings-matter-for-hotels/