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Turn OTA Lookers into Direct Bookers

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How improving your look on OTAs can drive more direct bookings.

How improving your look on OTAs can drive more direct bookings.

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  • Looking at the US MarketAccording to PhoCusWright, in 2011:Hotel Revenue:57% Central Reservations / Property Direct17% Hotel Website14% OTA’s12% Travel AgenciesForecast for 2014 is for Hotel Website to grow to 20% but share shifts from Central Res / Property Direct – OTA stays consistentDifficult to determine impact of Meta-search sourced bookings – Could flow to Hotel Website or via OTA Channel
  • Point of comparisonPublicly Held Hotel Chain Market CapsMarriott – $13.3 Billion | 12 Million UV’s/month (10 million mobile)Starwood – $13.6 Billion Hyatt – $7.2 Billion
  • The bottom line is that intermediaries selling hotel rooms dedicate substantial financial resources to creating awareness and acquiring traffic.How can they afford to spend so much?A key structural advantage over the hotel chains is an ability to sell across multiple hotel brands – That substantially enhances the opportunity for sales conversionOne note – the Priceline figures don’t include the US Booking.com advertising campaign.According to Susquehanna International Group, Kayak sends 57x more traffic to OTAS than Hotel Brands; TripAdvisor sends 11x more.11x is still a large ratio, but is is 1/5 of the ratio compared to Kayak.
  • Some Disturbing Statistics for Hotel CompaniesNo hotel group penetrated the top 15 sites for aggregated downloads according to satisfaction rating statistics aggregated by Xyo.comLooking closer at the stats - TripAdvisor has over 20x the downloads of the IHG App – with the top level of satisfaction.In terms of satisfaction, Six OTA/Meta-search groups had Satisfaction ratings exceeding 8 on a 10-point scale, with the highest hotel group coming in at 7.5.Where it gets ugly is what falls below this chart – According to Xyo.com, InterContinental has 63% and 78% more downloads than the next two highest ranking hotel brands.Major hotel groups also suffer in terms of satisfaction – With other top 10 global hotel brands scoring ratings of 5.2, 3.3, 5.4, 5.9, 3.6, 3.7, 4.2, 4.2, and 3.8.One major hotel group’s frequent guest app scored a 3.0 – the low for any of the 40 Apps studied.Plus the competition is heating up – Both Starwood & Hipmunk were highlighted by Mashable for releasing new great looking versions of their Apps for iOS 7.
  • The above example, provided by Expedia, illustrates the actual shopping path of a user across 33 retail, travel, DMO & weather websites before booking package on CheapTickets.comThis aligns well with Google’s stats – indicating the typical North American traveler visits 22 websites over 10 sessions when shopping for travel travel booking.It is also important to point out that Meta-search changes the dynamic and all meta-search sites are not created equal.
  • Note that Specific Hotel Brand Websites are chosen less than ¼ of the time – and that figure is split across a large number of hotel supplier sitesInteresting to note – Booking.com is not included – but just wait… they will be on the list if the same study is run next year.More importantly, the recent MMGY “Portrait of American Travelers” study indicated 53% of the highly desirable “Digital Elite Traveler” segment (those with multiple mobile devices) preferred to book through OTAs.And it’s not just travelers that like the OTAs - Marriott Brazil, in a partnership with Booking.com now allows guests to make their reservations in local currency online & on mobile devices.Marriott is a large, sophisticated travel company with lots of experience in eCommerce, but they obviously feel Booking.com is better sited to handle the job at this point.
  • The bottom line is that OTAs and meta-search are significantly important distribution channels that must be properly managedBut that is no excuse for not providing them with the best available tools to market your property effectively.Providing OTAs with inferior descriptive, image or video content won’t drive more visitors to your website or App…
  • Best Luxury Boutique Hotel in New York City:Google Knowledge Graph Carousel The ChatwalGrammery Park HotelW New YorkThe SurreyPlaza AtheneeThe IroquoisThe GreenwichThe PlazaGoogle Hotel Price AdsDays Inn Bronx-Yankee Stadium 2-star hotelCandlewood Suites New York City- Times Square 3-star hotelCrowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan 4-star hotelInterContinental New York Times Square 5-star hotel
  • Lesson Learned from Four Seasons Hotels Advertising:Amirati & Puris – BMW/Ultimate Driving Machine | Club Med /Antidote for Civilization | Absolut VodkaHotel is the Frame – Traveler Paints the CanvasOTAs are Still Not Good at Everything– LGBT Path Major OTA site – 3,000 Room, 5-star Las Vegas, Gay Friendly Hotel –- 51 photos – 3 with People – All Staff
  • In short, the OTA model works.Even if you are a large Las Vegas Casino group with a huge supply footprint, top of mind awareness, a robust players club, solid advertising budget and strong group sales department, to fill need periods, you will still need to work with OTAs and meta-search sites to maximize occupancy & profitability.
  • Online travel shoppers want to see visual content that makes them feel welcome at a hotel, before booking. The VNetwork Online Visual Content Distribution Network satisfies that want by getting hotels’ visual content out to thousands of channels and websites and in front of millions of online travel shoppers, making them more likely to book.
  • Between Expedia, Priceline and Orbitz they own and operate most of the OTAs globally
  • Travel shoppers are doing the majority of their research online, on OTAs, metasearch sites, corporate booking channels and brand.com. Tell your story with multi-media to stand out online and catch the eye of travel shoppers.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Technical difficulties? Contact Citrix GoToWebinar 1-800-263-6317 support@citrixonline.com Turn OTA Lookers into Bookers How Improving Your Look on OTAs Can Drive Direct Bookings vfmleonardo.com facebook.com/vfmleonardo @vfmleonardo September 25, 2013
    • 2. Vice-President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising VFM Leonardo Inc. Darlene Rondeau @darlenerondeau
    • 3. Founder, RockCheetah Robert Cole
    • 4. Managing Director, Marketing Programs, Best Western International Glen MacDonell
    • 5. Founder, RockCheetah Robert Cole
    • 6. Major OTA/Meta-search Travel Studios • Powerful Machines – Production – Distribution – Promotion • Create Stars – Develop Talent – Showcase Leaders – Create Opportunities • Sell The Product – Right Script – Right Casting – Right Direction Image Credit: Paramount Pictures (All Rights Reserved)
    • 7. Major Forces in Travel • Priceline | $51.3B Mkt Cap | 36.4M US UV’s – Booking.com | Agoda | Kayak | RentalCars.com • Expedia | $7.3B Mkt Cap | 40.6M US UV’s – Hotels.com | Hotwire | Venere | eLong | Trivago • TripAdvisor | $10.6B Mkt Cap | 43.8M US UV’s – JetSetter | CruiseCritic | SeatGuru | GateGuru • Google | $300.8B Mkt Cap | 192M US UV’s – ITA Software | Zagat | Frommer’s | Waze • Apple | $425.0 B Mkt Cap | 600M Credit Card #’s – See iTravel Patents | Starwood & Hipmunk iOS7 Apps Statistics:Yahoo! Finance & C Image Credit: RKO Radio Pictures (All Rights Reserved)
    • 8. Intermediaries Love Media • Expedia Brands – $870 Million Total Advertising Spend 2012 – Average $22.28 Core Ad Spend per Room Night • Priceline – $1.27 Billion Online Spend 2012 (38.6 % Increase) – 2.6% of Google Search Advertising Revenue – Priceline Offline Ads $35 Million in (US Television) – Average $11.50 Core Ad Spend per Room Night • TripAdvisor – Considering $50 Million Television Campaign Data: Susquehanna International Group, Priceline/Expedia & Bloomberg | Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (All Rights Reserved)
    • 9. OTAs & Meta-search Rule Mobile Rank Travel App Type Downloads Satisfaction Rating 1 TripAdvisor Meta-search 23.3 Million 8.5 / 10 2 Hotels.com Online Travel Agency 13.0 Million 7.5 / 10 3 Kayak Meta-search 12.1 Million 8.0 / 10 4 Booking.com Online Travel Agency 10.9 Million 8.0 / 10 5 Hotwire Online Travel Agency 8.4 Million 6.2 / 10 6 Expedia Online Travel Agency 7.0 Million 6.5 / 10 7 Priceline Online Travel Agency 5.4 Million 6.0 / 10 8 Travelocity Online Travel Agency 2.9 Million 3.7 / 10 9 Hotel Tonight Online Travel Agency 2.8 Million 8.2 / 10 10 Orbitz Online Travel Agency 2.3 Million 7.0 / 10 11 Agoda Online Travel Agency 2.1 Million 8.1 / 10 12 HRS (iHotel) Online Travel Agency 2.0 Million 5.3 / 10 13 Airbnb Online Travel Agency 2.0 Million 7.3 / 10 14 Trivago Meta-search 1.6 Million 4.9 / 10 15 Hipmunk Meta-search 1.3 Million 8.0 / 10 16 IHG Hotel 1.1 Million 7.5 / 10 Data: Xyo.com, PhoCusWright & RockCheetah | Image Credit: Dimension Films (All Rights Reserved)
    • 10. Purchase Path Is Not Short or Straight Data: Millward Brown Digital/ Expedia Media Solutions | Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (All Rights Reserved)
    • 11. What Sites Do Travelers Choose? When Comparison Shopping Leisure Business Expedia.com (E) 42% 44% Hotels.com (E) 39% 36% Travelocity.com (E) 37% 34% Google 35% 25% Priceline.com (P) 32% 27% Orbitz.com (O) 29% 31% Hotwire.com (E) 25% 26% Specific Hotel Brand Website 23% 25% Kayak.com (P) 17% 24% AAA.com 15% 15% Data: Google Travel Study. May 2012. Ipsos MediaCT | Image Credit: Warner Bros. (All Rights Reserved)
    • 12. Celebrate What Makes You Unique • Compelling Descriptions that Explain How You: – Make the Guest Feel Special – Simplify the Traveler’s Life – Satisfy Guest Needs Better than Competition • Engaging Images Showing Your Hotel in Action – Is a Building Exterior the Most Important Sales Benefit? – Why is the Property Empty? – Are Interior Design Shots more for Hoteliers or Guests? • Relevant, Guest Oriented Video Content – InterContinental’s Concierge Video Guides Offer Local Tips – Four Seasons Buenos Aires – Films Gala Events – Best Western Plus Sedona – Destination, Hotel & Guests Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (All Rights Reserved)
    • 13. Effectively Communicate Message • What Story Are You Telling? – Different Channels May Require Different Messages – Tailor Message to YOUR Audience Through THEIR Platform – Not an Update & Forget Environment • Use All Available Tools & Across Major OTAs – OTA Resources Often Used by Meta-search Sites – TripAdvisor Support Hotelier Video Posts – Google Business Photos - StreetView Virtual Tours • Google Knowledge Graph is a Game Changer – Hotel Images Prioritized at Top of Search Results – Photo | Rating | # Reviews | Street Address – At Present, More Relevant List than Hotel Price Ads Image Credit: Gracie Films (All Rights Reserved)
    • 14. Looking Good Will Attract Attention • Important Segments Deserve Targeted Images – LGBT – Families – Honeymoons • Engaging Images Showing Your Hotel in Action – Proper Orientation – Understand Cropping Methods – Appropriate Sizing – Different Resolutions Are Important – Descriptive Titles, Captions & Tagging • People Stay in Hotels – Guests Enjoying Key Points of Differentiation – Guests Naturally Interacting with Staff – Guests Interacting with Other Guests Image Credit: Twentieth Century-Fox (All Rights Reserved)
    • 15. True Love or Marriage of Convenience? • OTAs/Meta-search Drive Volume – Strong Traffic & Advertising – Dominate Mobile Platforms – Tactical Promotion Capability to Shift Share • Quality Presentation Across Guest’s Preferred Channels – Try to Convert to Hotel Direct or Guest Preferred Channel? – Want Best Opportunity for Conversion – Across Channels – Does Not Mean OTA/Meta Should Take Priority Over Direct • The Studio Never Overshadows the Star or Project – Ignoring OTAs & Meta-search Shifts Share to Competitors – Need to Leverage Channel to Your Benefit, Not Just OTA’s – Must Focus on Setting Common Goals & Mutual Benefits Image Credit: Buttercup Films (All Rights Reserved)
    • 16.  OTAs and meta-search are important distribution channels that must be properly managed Key Takeaways  Withholding quality content from these channels will not drive more travel shoppers to your website  No matter what type of property you are, working with OTAs and meta-search sites can maximize occupancy & profit
    • 17. Syndicate your Story on the industry’s largest network of travel sites Reach Millions with visual stories across the travel industry’s leading syndication network
    • 18. Managing Director, Marketing Programs, Best Western International Glen MacDonell
    • 19. Over 4,000 Properties in 100 Countries
    • 20. A Competitive Landscape
    • 21. OTA Market Share Continues to Grow
    • 22. BEST WESTERN PREMIER Eden Resort & Suites - Lancaster, Pennsylvania
    • 23.  Tell your story, your way Key Takeaways  Share a consistent message across platforms  Fish where the fish are
    • 24. Be Present where consumers are shopping Share your Story In a consistent, engaging way across third party websites with VBrochure. Amplify your message on VNetwork, including all of the GDSs, corporate and review sites, and of course, the most popular OTAs.
    • 25.  About VFM Leonardo It’s a Wrap…  Recording of this webinar ◦ Share it with your colleagues  Invitations to upcoming webinars ◦ Topics include maximizing your web presence on stepping it up on social media, planning for 2014 and more!
    • 26. Questions and Best Practices

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