Strategies for winning the direct booking wars
It's been a busy year on the "book direct" front. Hotels of all sizes are facing off against established and emerging online travel agencies (OTAs) and meta sites. At the same time, lines are blurring, with OTAs continuing to expand their business services for hotels and the industry moving towards 'meta metasearch' (for another post). But generally, hotels are testing a wide range of strategies to win back share from OTAs, which take costly commission rates ranging from 10 to 30 percent.
The direct booking wars
With much press, earlier this year, many brands launched massive ad campaigns in conjunction with "book direct" discounts to loyalty members. Hilton was the first to launch such a campaign back in mid-February ("Stop Clicking Around"), with many other brands following suit. And internationally, the European umbrella organization for hotels, restaurants and cafes called Hotrec began a similar campaign.