1. Know your guests
A sound understanding of your guests is essential for success in all aspects of hotel management, including the way you choose your distribution partners.
Guests have different preferences in the types of online travel agents (OTAs) they use to make accommodation reservations and some OTA platforms are better suited to certain types of accommodation property.
Understanding who your guests are and where they tend to come from can help you determine the online travel agents popular with your guest market. If your property predominantly accommodates business guests, consider a partnership with larger, internationally recognised online travel agents or even a GDS platform (see below).
2. Know your property
The type of property you operate can also have a big impact on your success with a particular OTA. If you manage a property group or boutique homestay accommodation, a listing on VRBO or Airbnb may prove far more important and useful than a listing on Booking.com.
3. Do your homework
Commission fees can vary among online travel agents, ranging from 15% to around 30% per reservation. Although ditching the OTAs altogether may seem financially favourable, it could still be best to maintain a presence on a few select distribution platforms to help with your property’s brand awareness.
Again, knowing your guests well is important here when conducting research into which distribution platforms will be best for your property. If your property is popular with travellers from Asia, it makes sense to consider Agoda and CTrip as these platforms are popular with the Asian travel market.
Think about the language and currency conversion options offered on each OTA platform and how these would appeal to the types of guests who stay at your property.
4. Consider other distribution platforms
Online travel agents make up a relatively large portion of the online accommodation booking world, but metasearch engines (such as Google) and the GDS (Global Distribution System) can help guests find and book your property too.
The GDS helps to connect accommodation suppliers with traditional travel agents around the world and is ideal for targeting business travellers.
Properties with a large number of rooms, located in close proximity to transport or event and conference facilities and those often accommodating large group bookings may benefit from a GDS integration.
5. Ask an expert
It may be tempting to select a channel manager that offers connections to the largest number of channels- but there’s more to it than just connecting to as many platforms as you can.
Your property is unique and carefully selecting OTA partners that will complement your business is a far more effective distribution strategy.
Chat to our team of experts here if you would like to know more about curating an online distribution strategy unique to your property, whilst ensuring your website is still a profitable channel.