Sometimes when you're publishing articles on online marketing fro the hospitality industry generally and online reservations specifically, the articales can sometimes be seen as lacking independance through vested interests. Our view has always been that the arguments for focussing on improving any hotel's direct distribution is not only important but critical and cannot be argued against in any circumstances.
In saying that however when a third party comes in and supports the argument so strongly (even if it is using US statistics) we don't ignore that reinforcement.
An article from HotelsMag.com does just that emphasising in a series of strong arguments and financial case studies just why the independant hotelier should be concentrating and investing in their own online distribution channels
The article is clear and totally unambiguous. Dependance on OTA's must be reduced and quickly.
So the next time you're doorstepped by an online marketing distributor ask them how they view the balance between direct and indirect online business.
Ask them where the online business will be coming from and what the cost of that business is really going to be. And make sure you understand fully what it is that they are going to do in partnership with you to develop your own website sales.
Are they more interested in sales through their own channels? Is the booking page going to link out of your own website? Does the landing page look like it belongs to another website? If so do you think your customers are going to close the new window down? Worse does it offer availability to your competitors if you don't have any availability for the dates shown?
You know if the answer to anyone of these questions was yes you should start asking questions. If the answer to them all is yes then you really have to question your online marketing strategy.
The article may make you think twice about your approach. If you need some advice on turning your online marketing and distrobution around drop us an email.