Weekly Blog

Why OTA’s are Important


Posted on January 16, 2013

We have just mailed out the Winter 2013 newsletters!  If your property has an active Service Contract for Check-Inn, you should see these arrive in the mail shortly.  If you do not receive your newsletter, please give us a call and we will verify your correct mailing address.

The newsletter goes into detail about our new Booking.com interface, gives information about our Social Media and also includes an article about marketing, with some specifics about our Innformer marketing program.  Because we have been in business a long time, most of the properties using our software have a large amount of guest history that can easily be utilized for marketing purposes.  Innformer is designed to do exactly that.

We’ve been spending a great deal of time the past 6 months developing interfaces to the 2 biggest OTA’s:  Booking.com and Expedia.  This is due to the high demand for these interfaces.  However, some property owners and managers are unfamiliar with working directly with OTA’s (Online Travel Agencies) and wonder why they would need this option.

The biggest reason is to increase revenue and lower cost.  Of course, isn’t that the reason for everything we do as business-people?  You may currently be receiving reservations through a GDS provider.  If so, the next few paragraphs are for you.  If you don’t currently use a GDS provider, skip down to the next section.

Currently using a GDS provider: 
We highly recommend using a GDS provider, such as Innlink/Travlynx, Genares/Innpoints and Sabre/Synxis because they will help you fill empty rooms by greatly increasing your visibility across a large amount of travel websites.  However, if you look closely at which websites your reservations are coming from, you may find that a majority of them are generated through specific sites, such as Booking.com and/or Expedia.

In most cases, you are paying commissions and fees to both the travel website (such as Expedia or Booking.com) as well as to the GDS provider.  This makes sense because both companies are providing a valuable service.  But you can lower your costs by dealing directly with your most successful OTA’s.  For example, if you find that most of your online reservations are coming from Booking.com (which may include Priceline) then why not open an account with them directly and bypass the extra GDS fees?

With our interface you will still receive the reservations directly into Check-Inn and the interface will automatically update the travel site with your availability information.  You can manage your room rates and availability through our interface, as well.  And the best part is that we do not charge you any commissions or other per-reservation charges.

This is not the right solution for all properties.  But it may be the right option for you.  The best thing to do is review where most of your business is coming from, your franchise agreement (if you have one) and then give us a call.  We can quickly determine based on the volume of reservations you are receiving from Booking.com and/or Expedia whether or not going directly with the OTA may be a good option.

Not currently using a GDS provider:
While we do highly recommend using a GDS provider like Innlink or Genares, we understand that it can be expensive and not the right solution for everyone.  If you currently have contracts with one or more of the individual OTA’s, great!  If not, it may be a good idea for you to contact Booking.com and/or Expedia to discuss whether or not working with them will be right for your business.

These two online travel agencies work very differently.  They have different marketing techniques, commission structures and agreements.  For more information about them, fill out their online forms and a representative from that company will contact you shortly.  Here are the forms:
https://joinexpedia.com/
www.signupwithbooking.com

If you already work with these or other travel websites, great!  Our interfaces may be a good option for you depending on the volume of reservations you receive from them.  The Booking.com and Expedia interfaces allow the reservations you receive to book directly into Check-Inn and the interface will also keep the online room availability up to date.  You will be able to manage your room rates and availability directly through the interface.  The interface also allows for room blocking, which is very important during busy times.

Give us a call or email us for more information!