As search engine marketing became the number one source driving visitors to OTA websites the OTAs continued the battle to outwit and outbid each other through search engines.
This battle drove Cost Per Click through the roof and search engine marketing became so expensive that OTAs had to find other ways to drive traffic.
If “partner” or “together” are words an OTA does not want to understand any more then you, the hotel, should stop working with that OTA and stop their destructive nonsense…! There are a lot of fed-up hotels out there, but very few actually take action, and I continue to hear and read hotels complain about this again and again and again…
They end up fighting forever and waste not only valuable time, but actually also a lot of profit.
Metasearch came to the rescue and as travelers increasingly started to use metasearch websites such as Trip Advisor, Hotels Combined, Trivago, etc to find and compare hotel prices, OTAs started to shift focus and marketing budgets to compete on metasearch websites rather than search engines.
The battle with OTAs will not go away though and the only sure thing is that at least some OTAs will always continue to find new ways to outsmart and undercut hotels and competitors.That battle was won long ago by the OTAs, spending massively on Pay Per Click search engine marketing, using your hotel’s name and aggressively driving potential customers direct to their OTA websites.You never had a chance to compete in this expensive battle and today there simply is too little direct hotel bookings left through your website for OTAs to be really interested in…Today OTAs are entirely focused on stealing bookings from other OTAs.End of April the agreement was terminated and from May onwards OTA A was no longer selling the resort.
As the graph shows, in June OTA B made up more than what was “lost” from OTA A and total online bookings in June set a new record.Almost every hotel that has been in this situation knows that.You can terminate their agreement, send them dozens of emails, but they will continue to use rates from other sources.Before explaining why the answer to the last 2 questions should be “no”, let me explain how OTAs’ focus has changed and hotels now can benefit from a much more level playing field.