6 Handy Tips to Reduce OTA Commissions
Online Travel Agents, popularly known as OTAs are now an integral part of the tourism sector and hospitality industry. In the era where customers look for online hotel booking, OTAs are beneficial to the customers. They also provide a platform for small hotel owners to display their offerings to customers. However, these services do not come free of charge. The OTAs charge a high commission from the hotel owners to provide these services and fetch customers.
At times, many hoteliers pay a significant amount to avail themselves of services from the OTAs. If you are looking for ways to reduce OTA commissions per booking and want to increase your revenue, then we have got a few tips through which you can reduce ota dependency. Scroll down the article to read more.
1. Have Your Website
If you want to save money on every booking, you need to have a website for your hotel. While making the website, you need to ensure it has an impressive and easy-to-use interface. The graphics on the website should have high-resolution. These days people search for hotels through their mobile phones. So, you need to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Once you have developed a website, you need to ensure that the content on your blog is up-to-date with exciting deals and offers. Highlight your services along with positive and best reviews.
2. Upload Photos And Videos On Your Website
Bookings are likely to increase if your hotel website has photos and videos of the hotel property. Guests prefer to look at the property before making any booking. Upload high-resolution and good-quality pictures and videos of hotel rooms, bathrooms, balconies, gardens, parking spaces, etc. If possible, shoot a small video of the hotel rooms and upload it to the website. If your website has no photos and videos, users will move to OTAs to look for photos of the hotel before making a booking.
3. Focus On Direct Bookings
Though you can not entirely cut the OTA commissions, you can still minimize the commission charged by them. One of the best ways of doing so is by working on direct bookings. Spend time understanding your customers and their actions on your website through website analytics tools. Focus on maximizing bookings by offering them discounts and deals when they come to your website. This way, you won’t have to pay much to the OTAs.
4. Ensure An Easy Booking Process
Many people prefer booking through OTAs because they encourage easy bookings. They do not have a complicated booking method. A complex booking process with repeated pop-ups can become a huge turn-off for potential customers. In addition to the easy booking, the hotel website should also comprise a rate calendar, maps, and an impressive yet user-friendly user interface. Otherwise, your customers will move towards the OTAs.
5. Embrace Digital Marketing
One of the reasons why OTAs earn so much and receive a significant number of visitors is that they use digital marketing to a great extent. If you search for hotels in a particular holiday destination or city, you will find OTAs securing the first page in the Google search page results. You need to understand that securing the first page in the search result page is essential. This is because users usually go for the initial few results. Aim for better SEO to rank on the search engine result page. Promote your hotel in ads and on social media platforms.
6. Launch Free-Of-Cost Membership Programs
Launching free-of-cost membership and loyalty programs can be another sure-shot way of minimizing the OTA commissions. You can explain to your guests how signing into the membership program can help them get a good hotel room at a discounted price. You can also add a few add-ons to the program such as Spa, karaoke night, complimentary breakfasts, etc. This way you can encourage the guest to opt for direct bookings, and thus, you won’t have to pay commission to the OTAs.
Since things are now getting normal and offline. Chances are that people may come to book hotels in-person rather than opting for online booking through OTAs. They may also seek help from travel agents and agencies. In addition to this, you need to ensure that your hotel management software is up-to-date and supports the new features.
At Swyftin, we offer services that will improve your revenue and help you in increasing the occupancy rate. Check our other blogs and services to know more.
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