How to balance Airbnb vs TripAdvisor vs Direct Bookings vs other OTAs to get more bookings at a higher ARR?

Guys as I write this I get goose bumps thinking what an amazing time we live in, while the majority of the world complains about so many channels taking away what they said rightfully belongs to the hotel direct here is what I say…

“Change happens and you should have done this in the very first place and the market waits for no one and these disruptions were waiting to happen.”

But but and a big but here when I continue to say the opportunity for hotels that this new age of social, digital and multi channels present has never happened in the history of hotels.

If you don’t totally jump in and go all out to grab the opportunity this era provides, you again may get left behind.

The exposure Airbnb and booking.com and Expedia and MakeMyTrip bring to your hotels, the first time ever guests who would have never found your hotel in London while they surf from Trinidad would never have happened unless you leveraged those channels.

But the opportunities are way more than you realise, the good revenue managers claim to have their rates and content optimised on all channels and I give them that well done guys but what about optimising for your highest paying audiences?

If you look at your analytics you will see the most profitable customers their length of stay, their likes and preferences and if you reverse engineer your experiences and your offers to meet these analytics you will win.

Let me give you an example leading OTAs show you which clients choose your hotel for how much time like Japanese staying for a week and wanting tubs in every room and because your videos and pictures on TripAdvisor and other OTAs show the large tub in your bathroom and show other Japanese guests enjoying Japanese food and have some Japanese language text on your website and channels, you will win this business over everybody else’ it’s as simple as that.

TripAdvisor has a vacation rentals section, Airbnb is all vacation rentals booking and Expedia have their sections and they all have their own demographics. I would go to Expedia for more North American guests and booking for more European and Agoda I would leverage for south East Asian guests and MakeMyTrip for Indian guests and divide my inventory and play with everybody.

To win however the final victory comes when you use these channels as the cost of acquisition of a onetime guest.

That’s when your hotel humans come on these are your heart centred humans who care and have maximum impact in a guest’s journey while he stays in your hotel.

Here are the heart centred humans I recommend that take over now to ensure your guests fall in love with you and come back to you direct:

1. The driver that drops and picks up your guests from the airport

2. Your Concierge

3. The Front Office Manager

4. The General Manager

5. Housekeeping staff

6. The room service call attendant

Make a serious note and call these guys for lunch and explain to them the mission we are on, the mission to make every guest a friend and to take care of them in a way that next time they come back to you for you + have them write a review for your individual service that blew them away.

I bet you guys are already doing some of this stuff and I love you for that, all I’m saying is weave your offline efforts with a robust online strategy and the resume may be

1. Getting more direct guests

2. Reviews blowing up and leading to increased ARR as a result

See the thing is, this is a time tested formula and it works just like a perfect blend of working out and eating helps build a great body; all you need to do it follow it consistently and ensure all stakeholders work on it till the result is achieved and once that is done; Repeat Repeat Repeat!

The idea my dear hoteliers is to go granular, the idea is to dig deep, the aim is to get into the micro of things, understand each curve, each funnel to understand their journey. Dear hoteliers put in the work to study the analytics; you will understand your business like nobody else and will rise to the top faster than anybody else on your business.

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