Now that spring has arrived, and summertime is just around the corner, we’d like to talk about one of the best forms of revenue generators for a hotelier. The main goal of hoteliers is to drive revenue through filled rooms, however many hoteliers rely on repeat business or word of mouth to ensure rooms are booked. One of the best ways to increase your revenue is to advertise online by connecting with online travel agencies (OTAs) and by putting a booking engine on your property’s website.
According to a recent report*, 57% of all travel reservations are made on the Internet, with just under half of those reservations made for hotels. While most of those hotel reservations are booked on a brand website, almost 20% are booked through sites such as Expedia and Booking.com. Both of these popular OTAs offer multiple partners for travelers who prefer a certain site. Expedia offers Hotwire, Hotels.com, and other sister sites, while Booking.com (under Priceline) offers Agoda.com, Kayak.com, and TripAdvisor as options for global travelers. OTAs are not just the wave of the future, they are the current way savvy travelers are able to compare rates, read reviews, and book all their travel needs.
What this means is that connecting to even one OTA can result in being advertised on multiple sites across the Internet, and this additional advertising is an effective way to fill rooms and increase your bottom line. In addition to advertising, OTAs offer other benefits, such as marketing options, dynamic pricing, inventory control, and guest reviews.
Innsoft offers direct connections to both Expedia and Booking.com, which gives you access to those two sites as well as the rest of the sites under their umbrellas. We also offer connections to both GDS providers and channel managers, which offer an even broader array of options for connecting to OTAs. Our online reservation interface updates both rates and availability, and books reservations into Check-Inn — all automatically. Automation eliminates errors and frees your front desk from tedious tasks, allowing you to concentrate on guest services.
If you are seeking to keep commissions in check, the best option is to add a booking button to your property website. Innsoft offers Direct Inn, a reservation client that allows guests to book rooms directly at your hotel — commission free! Direct Inn includes many features, such as no overbooking, dynamic pricing, and inventory control. Plus, Direct Inn is customizable to your website! By adding Direct Inn and marketing your property website, you can generate more traffic and avoid paying out commissions to a third party.
As you can see, we are big advocates of using the advantages of the Internet, but don’t just take our word for it, here’s what Derek Rider, owner of the Rest Assured Inns & Suites, has to say about using Direct Inn and interfacing with OTAs:
“Signing up with Direct Inn has been the best thing for my property. No more double booking rooms or forgetting a guest’s reservation. I was skeptical at first about purchasing the modules for Booking.com and Expedia.com. I used to think I had a good enough presence online and didn’t need to pay their commission for extra rooms. Boy am I thankful I did. My revenue 4th quarter 2015 was up 26%, thanks to, I believe, [my connection to an] OTA.”
With the busy travel months heading our way, now is a good time to get connected! If you’re considering interfacing your property to an OTA or Direct Inn, give our sales team a call at 800-950-8995. They’ll be able to answer any additional questions and ensure you choose the connection that best suits your property’s needs.