The Rule of Three

Give your hotel an edge over an OTA

John Smallwood, CEO, Travel Outlook

Sometimes it’s the little things that can secure a booking from a traveler. Read on to find out the simple “Rule of Three” that can help your hotel earn a booking from an OTA, your top competitor.

The relationship between hotels and OTAs has been frayed since the introduction of agencies like Expedia and Booking.com into the travel market. Although acting in a similar way to traditional agencies, OTAs looked to surpass hotels in their share of online bookings and have done so effectively over the last decade.

While many characterize the relationship between hotels and OTAs as “foes”, a recent Hospitality Net article, OTA’s vs Hotels, shares two critical insights; namely that half of all OTA users will visit the hotel’s official website before booking and, secondly, 85% of travelers say price is the most important factor in deciding where to book. As guests are still visiting your hotel’s site, the challenge is how best to secure a booking that might be lost to an OTA.

The solution? Make it easier for travelers to book direct. Hotels can still give themselves the edge over OTAs by employing this simple technique.

A clear and easy way of doing this is by placing the following words prominently on your website:

 

“Best Rate Guaranteed – Book Direct – Call Now”

Inserting these words provide a compelling reason to book directly with you. Moreover, it’s immediate and gives guests a specific reason to call you as you’re offering an enticing proposition. This “Rule of Three” promise customers the possibility of a better rate and also gives you an opportunity to develop a relationship with the traveler to create a more personalized booking experience.

Using this simple method to convert OTA bookings to direct bookings, makes the guest yours instead of belonging to an OTA. And overstepping the OTA commission fee isn’t all that bad either.



John Smallwood, CEO of Travel Outlook Premium Reservations Call Center, has written this article as part of a longer series on voice reservations, the second most profitable revenue channel for upscale and luxury inns, hotels, and resorts. You can find the remaining articles in the series on the Knowledge Capital. Travel Outlook is a hospitality company that takes voice reservations calls for its clients.

To learn more about the “Rule of Three”, please visit: How to Use the ‘Rule of Three’ to Create Engaging Content