This week has seen an increasing number of dominoes falling in the struggle for hotels to drive direct bookings. These dominoes have mostly been in the form of written analyses, focusing on the ways hotel technology is impacting and shaping the future of hotel distribution strategies.
Why has new and better tech sparked the battle for direct bookings? Many factors, starting with OTA consolidation, big chains consolidating, the ability to look more closely at channel distribution patterns and the inclination to push for lower commission rates.
Here’s what the experts have to say:
The first half of 2016 has seen a sea change in the way hotels deal with direct bookings. Direct bookings are no longer an alternative to third party sites and more traditional booking methods (think: phones and walk-ins). Instead, they are becoming a major priority for huge hotel chains like Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt, Choice Hotels International, InterContinental and more.
Here’s a fascinating glimpse into the technology differences between hoteliers in the US and Europe. Property management system, internet booking engine, a channel manager, central reservation system, and revenue management system – all perfect examples of the hotel technology that hoteliers should be using to get ahead of the competition and manage their operations.
Research from leading industry analysts Phocuswright, co-sponsored by SiteMinder, took a deep dive into the usage of technology in US and European hotels.
Here’s a cheatsheet to mastering your hotel’s distribution strategy. Getting hotel distribution is not a one-shot deal and requires an attack from multiple angles.
In case you missed EyeforTravel’s analysis piece last week – Hotels and the dirty battle of distribution – here they sum up the key points and recommendations from a series of interviews with industry experts.
Technology is proving to be something of a double edged sword for the big hotel chains.
On one hand, it’s helping them to engage with guests through easily scalable and cost-effective initiatives and drive loyalty in new ways. On the other hand, rapidly evolving technology is fueling fierce competition from online travel agencies.
The direct-booking push is a reaction to the increasing dominance of online travel agency (OTA) giants like Expedia and Booking.com.
If the industry shift toward loyalty rates is intended to challenge the OTAs, the question is whether managed travel programs and corporates booking through global distribution systems could once more get caught in the crossfire.
“A lot of the TMCs wish that the communication would be a little bit clearer around lack of impact on travel management companies,” said Eric Jongeling, Carlson Wagonlit Travel director of Americas hotel solutions. “It creates a lot of behind-the-scenes saying, ‘How does this actually impact us as a managed travel program?'”